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The health benefits of sweating

Get the scoop on the health benefits of sweating - and the biggest myth about perspiration.

Sweating regulates your body temperature

"Sweat's main purpose is to help the body cool down," says Jodi Ganz, M.D., a dermatologist at Piedmont. Sweat glands release sweat onto the skin, which then evaporates and helps reduce the body's internal temperature. If you're in a hot climate and sweating a lot, be sure to replace the fluids you're losing with plenty of water.  

Sweat makes your skin glow

Sweat literally leaves your skin glistening, but more importantly, exercise gets blood circulating throughout the body, which gives your skin a healthy glow from the inside out. Proper blood flow allows oxygen and nutrients to circulate and nourish skin cells.

"Sweat will help the skin look moisturized and 'dewy,' which may be seen as improving its appearance," says Dr. Ganz.

Sweat may indicate a tougher workout

Generally, the more intense the cardiovascular exercise, the more you will sweat. If you work up a good sweat several days a week, there's a great chance your workouts are challenging enough for your fitness level. Disclaimer: If your exercise routine leaves you feeling faint, extremely fatigued or so sore you can't walk, you're working out too hard. Also, keep in mind that some excellent forms of exercise don't cause you to sweat much at all, such as water aerobics or yoga.

The biggest myth about sweating

One of the biggest myths about sweating is that it helps the body get rid of toxins. While it makes sense in theory, the truth is the liver, kidneys and digestive tract do a great job of filtering and removing waste from the body, releasing it through urination and bowel movements. So while your workout has many health benefits, it won't help you "detox." The best way to release impurities is to eat healthy foods with plenty of fiber, stay well hydrated and get plenty of exercise.

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