Calm. Clear-Headed. Mentally and Emotionally Regulated. That is how I feel after a good sweat. All of those feelings set me up for being more efficient and effective in work and life. Just like a good cry, sweating can give us that feeling of being cleansed from the inside out. Trying to get a good sweat on during the past year, with COVID and so many activities of my favorite activities closed (spin classes, hot yoga, etc.), I found that running was where I landed. After a year of only feeling comfortable running most of the time to break a sweat, now that the weather is getting warmer and more activities are truly opening up -I thought it was a good time to get excited about all of the ways sweating and exercise are beneficial. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Some Of The Science-Backed Benefits Of What Happens When We Move And Sweat:
• Our bodies release feel-good chemicals called dopamine and endorphins. These are serious mood and well-being boosters.
• Blood pressure and flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood = more oxygen = better brain performance.
• Studies have specifically shown that dancing improves mood and certain cognitive skills like decision-making and visual recognition.
• Sweat can create a bacterial cleansing.
• Menopause symptoms can reduce.
• Lowers stress hormones, like cortisol, occur following a workout. This can result in better sleep.
• Sweat also boosts blood flow, which can help with recovery and helps us cool down faster after we exercise.
Activities That Will Get You Sweating:
-Brisk Walking (add some hills or swing your arms to make it easier to break a sweat)
-Cross Country Skiing
How To Sweat Better:
Hydrate Properly – The more hydrated you are, the more you’ll have to lose through sweat. This WebMD article states that we should drink 15 to 20 ounces of water one to two hours before working out. About 15 minutes before working out, it’s best to drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water. During the workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15minutes.
Get Your Shut Eye- According to a study in the American Journal of Physiology, you’ll produce 27% less sweat during a workout when you haven’t gotten adequate sleep, potentially stemming from the fact that lack of sleep can interfere with the autonomic nervous system, which controls sweating.
This week, create an action plan that will allow you to get at least one sweat in the following week. Going further, if you find that you’ve been having difficulty doing it, remind yourself just how good it feels!