Why We Sweat and Why It’s Healthy
Though sweating is often underappreciated, it’s important to know why we do it. Our skin, which is the largest organ, is essentially our third kidney. Sweat glands help our skin filter toxins out of the body, which in turn boosts our immune system. Sweating also cools our body and maintains proper body temperature. However, there are two distinct ways in which we sweat: The eccrine glands produce sweat to regulate body temperature and are found all over our body. The apocrine glands, which are linked to hair follicles (e.g., underarms), primarily produce sweat triggered by emotional stressors, such as fear and anxiety, along with body odor. Yet when we sweat all over, as with intense exercise, good things happen to our body:
- circulation increases throughout our organs, muscles, and tissue
- our skin releases toxins such as alcohol and waste products, which helps our body detoxify
- the elimination of salt from the body can help prevent kidney stones from forming
- prolonged sweating also leads to increased thirst and the need to drink more water, which is also helpful in lowering the risk of kidney stones
- the pores on our skin open up and allow for a protective barrier to form against pathogens, thus reducing bacteria on the skin. This can benefit many skin problems such as acne.
One of the best ways to increase sweat production is to exercise, whether it is moderate or intense activity. We encourage you to exercise outdoors as much as possible, especially when it’s warm outside. This natural approach exposes your skin to sunlight and facilitates the production of vitamin D. Remember, sweating unclogs pores, which in turn helps you synthesize vitamin D more efficiently. Also, the more you exercise, the quicker you sweat.
Heavy sweating is a great way to facilitate your body’s natural ability to detox. Along with eating clean foods and drinking purified water can also help optimize your body’s detoxification process. Avoid using antiperspirants because they block sweat and also contain unhealthy aluminum-based compounds and drying agents. Use natural deodorants that do not clog pores and do not contain aluminum or alum in the ingredients.