Some people detest exercise because they literally hate to sweat. Once they feel that prickly sensation, their pores opening up all along their spine, their forehead growing clammy, they get anxious and tense and want to stop immediately.
Others love it. It gives them a thrill to know they're burning calories, releasing water weight, letting go of some of the toxins their body has built up.
But the simple truth is, love it, hate it, or somewhere in between, sweating is good for us.
While many tests are still inconclusive, there is no doubt that certain cultures have been using sweat to enhance health for centuries. The Native American tradition of the sweat lodge, for example, is a great indicator of their belief that sweating was vital for purity of thought, concentration and to be free of outside worldly influences. We know that, medically, sweating plays a vital role in regulating our body temperature, releasing waste, and keeping our skin healthy.
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The Ayurveda, the India's ancient healthy document, considered sweating to be of utmost importance for the balance of the entire system and for finding relief from any number of ailments. In Scandanavian countries, sweat lodges are part of the cultural tradition of healing and communal sharing; a ritual that is mainstream. Dry saunas are thought to have even more health benefits than steam rooms as the body must work a bit harder to release the toxins and therefore will burn more calories.
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And of course, as any recent practitioner of yoga knows, "hot yoga," or Bikram yoga is designed to encourage as much sweating as possible. The benefits are twofold in this case; the yoga is easier on some levels because muscles are a bit more flexible, and more toxins are being flushed from the body.
No matter what you do, embrace, your sweating as a natural and healthy part of life and exercise.