With temperatures starting to hover around the 90’s, you’ll be a hot sweaty mess in no time during your workout (or in the time it takes you to walk from your car to your front door)! And though the media would have you believe sweat is only acceptable on a buff construction worker, sweat is the most healthy and natural thing your body has to offer you during the heat. Check out this article by Alicia Rewega from Oxygen Magazine.
Why Sweating is a Beautiful Thing!
I used to worry about being a sweaty mess at the gym, but now I know better. But what is it that makes sweating good for the body?
We don’t see sweating as a sign of messiness at all. In fact, we see it as a sign of an ultra-fit woman building a strong, healthy body and cleansing herself of toxins while she’s at it. Contrary to what you might see in a slew of multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns for the world’s leading antiperspirants (think exaggerated armpit circles and embarrassment of epic and unrealistic proportions), perspiring is actually one of the most healthy things you can do for your body.
Why do we sweat?
It’s simpler than you think, really. “Sweating is the body’s natural self-cooling system,” explains Gregory Florez, CEO and founder of fitadvisor.com, rated the top coaching service by The Wall Street Journal. It helps you maintain a healthy body temperature to prevent overheating, which can lead to heat exhaustion, and, in extreme cases, even death, he says.
Because some women have been taught to believe that sweating is embarrassing and unladylike, Florez says they have actually created a psychological barrier leading them to view sweating as unacceptable. “Fear of sweating is common in women,” he says. A shame really, because if you don’t sweat, heat can build up in the body, not to mention stress- and goodness knows that we should be releasing as much of our daily stress as we can, for countless health reasons.
Regular, vigorous perspiration through exercise is not only excellent for cooling down, it also helps cleanse toxins from the body, which include trans fats, simple sugars and other chemicals from not-so-clean food choices, explains Florez.
Does the amount matter?
Sure, early onset of sweating means that your body is efficient at cooling itself down, but do really fit people sweat more than less fit people? “Whether you sweat more or less is highly dependant on your individual body and metabolism,” says Florez. So the good news is that you can stop comparing your sweat stains to your treadmill neighbor; the amount of sweat your body produces doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a newbie or advanced exerciser.
Are antiperspirants bad for me?
There has been much debate about this topic for many years (with some claiming that antiperspirants may be linked to breast cancer), but one of the strongest studies was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) in 2002. The human study, based on interviews with 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without,, found no increased risk of breast cancer among women who used antiperspirants.
While many experts consider the case closed, one UK-based cancer researcher, Philippa Darbre, PhD, of the University of Reading, disagrees. Darbre cites a growing body of evidence that links aluminum-based antiperspirants to the development of breast cysts, but more research is needed to determine the effects of their long-term use.
But if using an antiperspirant worries you, thee are plenty of all-natural, aluminum-free versions that you can choose from (check your local health food stores for options).