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Work up a sweat for even more health benefits

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:04pm

Richard Simmons was really onto something when he was "Sweatin' to the Oldies".  Did you know that sweating has multiple positive health and beauty related benefits? The skin is the body’s largest organ, and through perspiration, it plays a big part in helping the body detox and renew itself. Sweating is, in a sense, exercising your skin.  The next time you’re suffering while sweating it out at the gym or in the sauna, remember that you’re doing a great deed for your overall health.

Sweating is the way our bodies keep themselves from overheating.  When we perspire, we expel toxins and even disease from our system. Many viruses and bacteria can’t live in temperatures above 98.6, so in many cases, sweating literally burns away illness.

There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Eccrine glands are distributed over the entire body. They are particularly concentrated on the palms, soles of feet, and on the forehead. Apocrine sweat glands are located on the scalp, armpits and the genital area, and produce sweat containing fatty materials.

Below are the two best ways to sweat it out

Saunas

Saunas are a great way to “sweat it out,” and have been popular for centuries. Many years ago, healers relied on saunas to treat illnesses, and priests used the heat of the sauna to chase away evil spirits. The newer infrared saunas stimulate the body at a cellular level so toxins deep in tissues can be eliminated. These saunas are able to heat the body while the air stays cool, resulting in a more pleasant experience.

Exercise

Naturally, we equate exercise with sweating. In addition to benefits like improving sleep, relieving symptoms of depression, immune function, and stress level, in most situations exercise also promotes perspiration, which softens skin and helps keep pores clear.

Dr. Oz says, "If you can work up a sweat just 1 hour a week, you'll enjoy a range of benefits: reduced risk of heart attack, better mood, and lower blood pressure.  I like interval training on the elliptical, with 15 pullups and 15 dips every 10 minutes.  Your muscles will become more efficient, so you'll have more stamina for more enjoyable activities that also work up a sweat".


 
I do try to work up a good sweat whenever I am doing aerobics, whether on the treadmill or out jogging.  I haven't been in a sauna in a long time, but maybe I'll have to look into visiting one soon.  I like the idea of getting rid of toxins, relieving stress, lowering my blood pressure and improving my skin.

What are your favorite sweat-inducing activities?  Have you ever been in a sauna before?
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