Sure sweat can have you scrunching up your nose, but that means it’s doing its job! Sweat is vital for life. At the end of the day, you need sweat…
Sure sweat can have you scrunching up your nose, but that means it’s doing its job! Sweat is vital for life. At the end of the day, you need sweat to help regulate your body temperature (otherwise you’d overheat or pass out).
Here’s what else getting your glisten on and hitting the sauna can do for your health.
‘Sweating the toxins out’ isn’t a new phenomenon, with saunas being utilised by cultures around the world for thousands of years.
Spiritual sweat lodges were used by Native Americans for purification ceremonies, and it is believed the sauna tradition originated in Finland around 7000 BC (‘sauna’ is actually a Finnish word) – where the warmth of a sauna provided a winter retreat, and the perspiration it induced was thought to remove toxins not only from the body, but the spirit. Integrated into the lifecycle, the sauna was a place for women to give birth, and for the elderly to spend their last hours.
Sweating increases blood circulation, which promotes the transport of oxygen and skin-loving nutrients to your skin – like hydrating omega-3, involved in skin cell structure and integrity, and antioxidant-rich vitamin C, the anti-aging vitamin.
Your body’s personal fan
Sweat is released through the skin’s sweat glands, mostly in the form of water and with small amounts of salt and other chemicals before it evaporates, literally cooling you off.
Sweating increases your heart rate – part of the reason why cardiovascular exercise – exercise that both gets your heart rate up and that gets you hot and sweaty – gives you that rush of endorphins – the body’s natural opioids or ‘feel good’ hormones with mood-boosting, pain-relieving potential.
Fun fact: seeing that the skin is the body’s first line of defence, it’s handy that sweat contains ‘dermcidin’ – a natural antibiotic that helps ward off bacteria in the environment that you don’t want getting into your body, like E. coli from contaminated food or water.
What’s the difference between a conventional sauna and an infrared sauna?
With an air temperature of around 90 to 105 degrees Celsius, a conventional sauna encourages sweat via extreme heat. This is felt by the skin and respiratory system, to a degree that some people may find it difficult to breathe.
The temperature of an infrared sauna is much more tolerable – about 40 to 60 degrees Celsius. Rather than heating the skin, the infrared band of light safely penetrates about 3 to 4 cm beneath the skin’s surface, reaching and heating the deeper organs and tissues (without any harmful UV rays).
However or whenever you sweat, it’s so important to rehydrate your body to keep it feeling its best.
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