Don’t Sweat It: 6 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sweating

Sweating is not a good look but there are some surprising benefits of getting your sweat on [Photo: Giphy]

No one likes looking sweaty. The sweaty look is so not a thing. In fact, sometimes the thought of getting all hot and sweaty is actually enough to put us off working out in the first place (shhh! Don’t tell!). And who can blame us when we’ve been brought up believing that sweating is ‘icky’, that women should ‘glow’ not sweat, that those little sweat patches we sometimes get under our arms are the work of the devil himself. But did you realise that sweat actually has some pretty amazing benefits?

It makes us happy

Ever noticed how before a workout you’re little miss crabby, while afterwards you’re little miss sunshine? There’s a reason for that. When we sweat, we release endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good chemicals in our bodies, which help ease stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more relaxed. Think of sweating as a sort of bad mood repellent.

Don’t sweat it! [Photo: Rex Features]

It zaps zits

We’ve always thought that sweating is the worst thing ever when it comes to keeping your skin spot-free, but it turns out we could have been wrong. “Sweating is an essential part of our skin health,” explains Dr Virginia Hubbard, Consultant Dermatologist at London Bridge Hospital. “It can have the same effect on skin health as a facial treatment – the pores enlarge and the dirt and dead skin cells on the surface are cleared away.” Word of warning though, you can’t just sweat and go as all that dirt from your pores will accumulate on the surface of your skin. Grim. So aim to clean your face three times a day. And don’t forget the SPF.

It clears the body of toxins

There’s a reason we’re told to sweat out a hangover? Because sweating is a massive detoxifier for our bodies and can help clear the kidneys of excess salt and calcium buildup. So even though the gym is the last place you’ll feel like heading the morning after the night before, a sweaty work-out could de-bloat you, clean our clogged arteries and give the hangover the heave ho.

Getting your sweat on has some pretty surprising benefits [Photo: Rex Features]

It keeps illnesses at bay

A sweat session a day keeps the doctor away. Sort of. A study from Eberhard Karls University Tubingen in Germany suggests that human perspiration contains a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide called dermcidin. Dermcidin helps to fight off bad bacteria that our skin comes into contact with. So sweat acts as a kind of invisible force field against germs. Plus sweating can help with the healing process. When we get a cut or a wound, our bodies sweat out dermcidin to help kill potential bacteria, and help cuts and grazes to heal.

It regulates body temperature

Sweating acts as our own personal air conditioning system helping to  maintain and regulate our body temperature. When our skin gets wet with sweat, it feels cooler. Then, as that sweat evaporates into the air, heat is removed as well. Nifty!

It lowers risk of kidney stones

Research from the University of Washington found that regular exercisers sweat out salt and tend to retain calcium in their bones, rather than the salt and calcium going into the kidneys where stones form.  Frequent sweaty Bettys also tend to drink more water, which can act as another stone prevention mechanism.

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