Today I want to talk a little bit about sweating. If there’s one thing that I’ve done a lot of in the last several years, it’s sweat. I am an avid Bikram yoga practitioner, so I spend 90 minutes, several days a week in a 105°F room. This used to really bother me since hot, sticky summers are my least favorite season, but remarkably now, I don’t even notice the heat.
Why, though, would I put myself through such discomfort on a regular basis? Because sweating helps to get the blood and lymph moving, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Contrary to belief, we don’t sweat out lots of toxins. Most are removed through our urine or breath, but sweating does stimulate their transport into our elimination system. What we do perspire are water, minerals, lactate and urea, which means that if you do sweat a lot and often, it’s important to replenish your electrolytes.
Even outside of the hot room, developing a good sweat usually entails a strenuous workout, which gets the blood pumping and the lymph mobilized. Besides removing excess fluid and salts, sweating keeps the body cool while you’re heating up. And I’ve noticed since sweating daily that my skin has gotten softer.
So put on your workout gear and get moving! Your hot, sweaty body will thank you by cleaning up its act! : )
Photo: New York City Marathon, November 2009