What is sweat?
Sweat is a natural product of the process of body temperature regulation, also referred to as thermoregulation. This process is triggered by physical activity, overheating, stress and other strong emotions; as well as pregnancy, illness or something as simple as eating spicy food. Our brain sends a signal to millions of sweat glands on our body, that sit within two main types of sweat glands; Eccrine and Apocrine. Once the fluid is released from these sweat glands, it evaporates from your skin and in turn lowers your body temperature. Sweat is a essentially a fluid that is made up of water, sodium and other substances that simply work to cool the body down. Sweating is not only necessary, it’s important!
Why is sweating important?
Sweat doesn’t only function to regulate your body’s temperature. There are the number of other ways that sweat can help to keep our body healthy:
Fighting Bacteria & Viruses
As a natural anti-macrobial, sweat helps to prevent bacteria and viruses from entering your body. This is due to the dermcidin present in your sweat, (an anti-microbial peptide secreted by human eccrine sweat glands onto the skin as a part of the innate host defence of the immune system) that works to lower the amount of bacteria on your skin and reduce the chances of an infection.
Speeding Up Healing
Not only does sweat help to fight against infections, if an illness does occur, sweat is a catalyst to speed up the healing process. Sweat activates your immune system by increasing your body’s the metabolic processes. Arguably, sweat could be seen as part of your immune system and one form of your body attempting to heal itself.
We are constantly exposed to toxins in our daily lives. Whether this is from the environment we find ourselves in or through what we consume. Through sweating, our bodies fight daily to reduce the chances of us having toxin-overload which can cause problems such as fatigue or muscle pain.
Promoting Healthy Skin
The reason saunas are so popular! Sweating is an effective deep cleansing method. It draws out toxins located deep within the skin and pushes them to the surface. This in turn removes excess dirt, oils and dead skin cells from deep within, working to promote clearer and healthier skin.