Don’t sweat the sweating: Surprising health benefits of sweating in summer | Health

Many people find sweating to be one of the most uncomfortable aspects of summer season. Reaching out for a handkerchief every few minutes, finding your clothes drenched with sweat, and the resultant body odour could all add to the woes. However, sweating can benefit out health in many unexpected ways. One of our body’s natural cooling mechanisms, sweating helps dispel excess heat from the body, preventing heatstroke. Apart from temperature regulation, sweating also plays a role in detoxification of the body. From cholesterol, alcohol to salt, many substances can be eliminated from the body via sweating. (Also read: Can heatwave kill? 4 ways extreme heat can prove to be deadly, experts share preventive tips)

While often viewed through a lens of discomfort or embarrassment, perspiration, especially in the warmer months, harbours a trove of overlooked benefits. (Freepik)

Another lesser-known benefits of sweating is its ability to prevent infections as sweat has certain peptides that are antimicrobial in nature and help fight infections. Sweating triggered by physical exercise can also aid in release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can boost your mood and make you feel positive.

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Hidden benefits of summer sweat

“While often viewed through a lens of discomfort or embarrassment, perspiration, especially in the warmer months, harbours a trove of overlooked benefits. This natural process, intrinsic to human physiology, plays a crucial role not just in cooling us down but also in bolstering our health and well-being in several unexpected ways,” says Dr Sakshi Singh, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Amrita Hospital Faridabad as she explains various health benefits of sweating in summer season.

A natural cooling system

At its core, sweating is the body’s innate air conditioning system. When the temperature rises, our bodies release moisture through sweat glands to the skin’s surface. As this moisture evaporates, it carries away heat, effectively lowering our body temperature. This mechanism not only prevents overheating during the sultry summer months but also enables us to engage in physical activity without succumbing to heatstroke, making it a cornerstone of our survival and comfort in hot climates

Detoxification and purification

Sweating has been celebrated as a means of detoxification, a concept rooted in both ancient practices and modern wellness trends. While the primary function of sweat is temperature regulation, it also facilitates the removal of certain toxins and impurities from the body. Substances like alcohol, cholesterol, and salt can be expelled through sweat, aiding in the purification of our system. This natural detox can contribute to clearer skin and a reduction in acne breakouts, showcasing another way summer sweating benefits our health and appearance

Immune system booster

Emerging research suggests that sweating may bolster our immune system. Sweat contains antimicrobial peptides effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. One such peptide, dermcidin, produced in the sweat glands, has been shown to combat harmful pathogens on the skin’s surface. This means that sweating could play a role in protecting us from infections, particularly important in the warmer months when we are more exposed to various environmental factors.

Endorphin release and stress reduction

Physical activities that induce sweating, such as exercise or a visit to a sauna, are known to trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. These ‘feel-good’ hormones can lead to what is often termed as a ‘runner’s high,’ a state of euphoria accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life. Furthermore, the act of sweating in response to heat or exertion can also facilitate stress reduction, offering a soothing, meditative-like state that combats anxiety and promotes mental well-being.

Enhancing skin health

Sweating can also have a direct impact on our skin’s health. By opening pores, sweat helps to flush out dirt, oil, and other impurities, potentially reducing the occurrence of blackheads and acne.

Moreover, the natural hydration provided by sweat can improve skin elasticity and tone, giving it a healthier, more vibrant appearance. While it’s crucial to cleanse the skin after sweating to prevent reabsorption of these impurities, the act itself is a natural exfoliant and moisturiser.

However, one needs to stay hydrated and consume fruits and vegetables that have a cooling effect to survive the heatwave.

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