I want to talk this week about sweating. Over the years we’ve had some really interesting comments from people around sweating – feeling uncomfortable and not enjoying feeling hot and getting sweaty. I’m the complete opposite. I absolutely love being sweaty (obviously in the right context). If I’m walking to a meeting, I don’t want to be sweating and sit there with sweat running down me in the office.
But otherwise, I spent quite a lot of my time getting hot and sweaty deliberately. Whether that’s going down to the boxing gym a couple of times a week, whether it’s going to a spin class which is a cauldron for getting hot and sweating. I also have an infrared sauna in the backyard and I’m in that probably four or five times a week. In the summer months, I’m hot the minute I get in, so I’ll do 20 minutes. In the winter and perhaps spring and autumn months, I’ll be in there for about half an hour, but absolutely dripping in sweat.
I’ve also recently been diagnosed as perimenopausal, so I’m having hormonal flashes which some of you will be familiar with – it means that I’m hot a lot! Because I’m used to sweating in the context of exercise and of the sauna, the hot flashes are not too distracting for me yet.
I just want to urge you to not to be afraid to get hot and sweaty. It’s good for a short period of time to get our heart rates high enough that the body needs to sweat.
The process of sweating is no indication of poor fitness. On the contrary, it’s an indication of the body working really efficiently, because that’s how we cool ourselves.
The only way my dog can cool herself is to pant with her mouth open. She’s got no other way of doing it, but we are lucky enough to be able to sweat from the pores in our skin, which is the largest organ in the whole body. It’s actually a sign of efficiency that we sweat.
There are lots and lots of benefits of sweating, for example, with sauna use and exposure it’s very good for detoxification. That’s one of the primary reasons why I get in the sauna and sweat it out for 20 minutes.
Don’t be afraid to get hot and sweaty – it’s not a bad thing. It’s your body working efficiently and it’s good for us to get into that sort of intensity, whether it’s through exercise, or whether it’s through sauna.
Get hot. Get sweaty.
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Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.