TO SWEAT OR NOT TO SWEAT
Sweat. I think many people either love it or hate it. I’m in the group who loves to sweat. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Houston, Texas and sweating was as normal as breathing…or maybe it’s because I usually cannot sit still so I’m always working my body into a sweat….either way, I love the way I feel after breaking a good one: healthier, stronger, more calm and focused. During this hot summer, I have seen clients show up to our training sessions frustrated from the day, tired, burned out, and overwhelmed. At the end of the session, not only are they DRENCHED, they are like different people: happy, energetic, lighthearted, and peaceful. Turns out, there are good reasons why they feel this way. Sweat, it seems, is like a gift that keeps on giving.
Loads of health benefits occur when our bodies are heated up and pores open to let that salty liquid flow.
Detoxification, improved skin tone, produces endorphins that lift mood and act as natural painkillers, joint and muscle pain relief, stress relief, improved circulation; can also help to kill bacteria and viruses that cannot survive beyond 98.6 degrees inside the body. Several studies suggest that sweat contains an antimicrobial peptide called dermcidin which has been proven to fight tuberculosis germs and other pathogens! The list goes on: a published study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health touts the benefits of sweating, including ridding the body of toxins like arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and BPA.
It doesn’t take long to break a sweat—-10 minutes of a HIIT circuit is enough to get it flowing. Any type of aerobic activity that gets the heart pumping towards its’ max will induce those glorious beads on your forehead. Consider an infrared sauna or a steam room: Saunas and steam rooms (in their earlier forms) have been around for centuries. Long ago, people understood the health giving powers of breaking a sweat. And let’s be honest, you look good when you sweat. You look sexy and strong….fierce. So grab a towel and your coconut water, push your hair back with a band, and go get SWEATY.
Be sure to hydrate sufficiently after a heavy sweating session and replace lost electrolytes. The major electrolytes in the body are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride. You can replace these not only by drinking water, but by eating foods that are rich in the above list. Foods like: greek yogurt, bananas, nuts, watermelon, celery and tomatoes.
Coconut water is one of my favorites for replenishing after a big sweat. Stay away from those drinks that are filled with added sugars and artificial colors/ingredients.