If you follow me on social media, you know that I went to the NHRA Fall Nationals just outside of Dallas, Texas, this September. It is still VERY HOT in Dallas at that time of year. The temperatures were in the high 90s, and the stadium seating was not shaded. We were right out in the sun – for hours.
Almost immediately, I began to perspire. In the South we southern belles like to say, “I don’t sweat. I glisten.” Well, I can assure you that on this occasion, my skin all over my whole body was doing more than just glistening! I stood in line for about five minutes just to order a water bottle, and water was running down my body in rivulets down my back, the backs of my legs, and my arms by the time I got to the front of the line. I was really perspiring.
Then I noticed a couple of important things. First of all, many of the people attending the race were quite large. Sadly, there were no healthy food options at any of the stands for the crowd to have any good choices to eat. Secondly, few people were even sweating. Many were not sweating at all! They looked as fresh as daisies.
As Ivan and I first started our journey to wellness, we learned how important having all our detox pathways being open is. And your skin is a major detox pathway – sometimes even referred to as the “third kidney.” Sweat contains impurities as your body releases toxins from cells and tissue. This is why sweat stains your clothes and why it is necessary to shower these toxins off your skin right away after engaging in activities that cause you to sweat.
The more toxic your body is, the less effective all your detox pathways become, including your sweat processes. Could this have be why most of my fellow drag-race attendees were not sweating profusely as I was while they sat there in the hot Texas sun?
Sweating is the way our bodies regulate our core temperature, as well. The more fit you are, the more effective your metabolism is at regulating that core temperature. While a heavier person will begin to perspire quickly with exertion (sitting in the stands, drinking beer, does not constitute exertion), he or she will not be able to effectively regulate core temperature normally due to having a sluggish metabolism.
Our health begins to break down when our core temperature cannot be well regulated. Even a 2°C rise in core body temperature can cause the enzymes the body uses for breaking down food and performing other chemical processes necessary for health to become denatured, or actually dissolve.
It is important to sweat.
Here are three ways to induce healthy sweating:
1. Saunas or steam showers: When I first started taking regular saunas, it would take over 25 minutes at 100°F for my pores to open so my skin could release the water stores. After moving through the detox process, I now begin to sweat within three minutes. If you are new to taking saunas or steam showers, please learn the proper, healthy way to do them. Heat causes your pores to open so that your body can release the stored water. You need to take a cool shower or dip into a cold pool afterwards, so that your pores close right away, protecting you from bacteria and viruses from entering the body through open pores. Always shower after sweating in a sauna or steam shower.
2. Exercise: Both cardio and resistance training can bring the body to the point of releasing toxic water stores. It is important to engage in cardio and resistance training with both water with electrolytes* and a towel nearby – and USE them both frequently!
3. Hot Yoga: Hot yoga will induce a strong sweat. Again, bring your electrolyte water and a towel to use during the session, and take a shower immediately to wash away any toxins that you have released during the session to avoid your body reabsorbing those toxins while your pores are open.
*Regarding electrolyte water, there are plenty on the market, and you will notice that they are ALL in plastic water bottles. Most all of those plastic water bottles contain BPAs and are not healthy to drink. It is quite easy to make your own electrolyte water, or drink coconut water with a pinch of sea salt during your workouts. Dr. Oz has a recipe for DIY electrolyte water, just be sure you use organic raw agave or raw maguey sap.
So, get your sweat on! Stay hydrated and enjoy your increased levels of health as your body rediscovers one of its MOST effective detox pathways – your skin.
Remember that if you have any health issues at all, please work with your doctor regarding this topic. There are some conditions that must be handled carefully regarding exercise and heat.