We learned about it in health class…sweat is the physical evidence that we have a built in air conditioner. Our P.E. teachers seemed determined to push us to sweat in hot gyms and outdoor playgrounds; we were then advised to replenish with liquids so that our system could function properly. And THAT is the extent of what most of us learned about perspiring. In the celebration of ongoing education, it’s time to truly understand the amazing benefits of sweating.
For the last few years, more and more research has been done on eccrine sweat glands which exist in the millions on our skin. At the University of Michigan, researcher Laure Rittie is discovering that these glands host an important reservoir of adult stem cells which aid in the process of wound closures. “By identifying a key process of wound closure, we can examine drug therapies with a new target in mind: sweat glands, which are very under-studied,” Rittié says. “We’re hoping this will stimulate research in a promising, new direction.”
What exactly happens when we sweat it out? It’s true…we literally release toxins from our system using sweat as the conduit. Experts agree that we mainly release excess salt, cholesterol and alcohol. Which means that a sweaty work-out will de-bloat us, clean our clogged arteries and help with a hang-over? Johnny Cash and skateboarders take this theory for a RIDE.
Who needs antibacterial ointment when sweat spreads highly efficient antibiotics on to our skin! If our skin is wounded by a small cut, a scratch, or the sting of a mosquito, antibiotic agents secreted in sweat glands, such as dermcidin, rapidly and efficiently kill invaders.
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Its pain has been dubbed worse than childbirth! Avoiding kidney stones should be a goal for anyone who imbibes in too much of a high fat, high salt diet and has difficulty “flushing” their bladder on a regular basis due to their schedule. Research shows that regular exercisers and dedicated water drinkers flush their system more efficiently and help to control the onset of kidney stones. Sweating during exercise causes the body to demand more hydration which in turn keeps the kidneys flushed.
In the grand fight against ill health and obesity, we’re pushing ourselves into whole new arenas of training. 5Ks, marathons, IronMenWomen competitions demand intense and regular training sessions. Fortunately, our body’s incredible anticipation of these sessions allows it to begin cooling earlier as well increasing the actual size of sweat glands to keep up with body’s needs. Evaporating Wonders
When BPA and DEHP were introduced to our environment with modern industry, we were unable to determine its impact on our health. All agree now that having these chemicals in our systems is detrimental to our health. Remarkably, our amazing sweat glands tend to be one of the ways our body rids itself of these and other dangerous pollutants. Even when not detected in blood or urine, our sweat has shown potential to effectively eliminate BPA from our system.
The proof is in the smiles after the sweat! Believe it! Exercise puts you in a better mood. But before you think that tiny dumb bells or casual walks can give you happiness, be aware that you have to SWEAT with heavier weight training or anaerobic exertion to get the real benefit. Your endorphin level is unique and it will be through trial and error to find the right kind of physical activity that will induce your very own brain “opiates” and get you hooked on feeling the “rush” after sweating it out.
Those exercise endorphins not only stimulate your brain’s mood enhancers, they also are natural pain relievers. Who knew that a run around the block or a dance class could help relieve aches and pains? As noted by sports medicine physician, Dr. James Ting of Hoag Orthopedic Institute, “Exercise stimulates neurochemical pathways in the brain, resulting in the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers.” As the body becomes accustomed to this relief and your overall fitness improves, you may find yourself reaching less for the aspirin and more for your sneakers.
We were supposed to be done with the “zit hits” after puberty but like a bad penny, they keep showing up as we journey through hormonal changes throughout adulthood. Sweat to the rescue! By opening up your pores, the perspiration process helps them release the grit and grime that holds in bacteria which as we all know, leads to ZITS. Don’t be lazy, though. Getting all the yuck out onto your skin’s surface means it has to be washed off. Don’t encourage its re-entry by leaving it lying around!
It was mentioned before that our past P.E. teachers kept us “sweating to the oldies” and then dashing for liquids. As we go through our day, our bodies adapt to temperature changes in our environments. Perhaps you’ve dealt with cold offices, hot automobile interiors, MENOPAUSE, etc. and wonder if your personal HVAC system is out of whack? Regular exercise, which keeps our sweat glands in tip top shape, help our bodies regulate its temperature more easily in these modern society environments.
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