Skin tight, black leather pants riding low on swiveling hips exposing a tanned, taut tummy, the young woman gyrates to the pounding beat blasting through the night club. Dancing alone, she's the center of attention. Her body glistens with a million drops of sexy sweat.
Maybe you've seen this television commercial for Old Spice deodorant. The point is that it's okay for a woman to sweat. It's sexy. But for men, well, it just makes you smell bad so you better buy some Old Spice.
Either way, whether women glisten or men sweat, it's good for you. Contrary to recent reports that all you need to do is move around during the day to be healthy, if you really want to be fit, you have to sweat.
Perspiration with exercise is a sign that your muscles are working. Muscles are like biochemical motors and like any motor that runs at high speed, you have to cool it. Your body produces the sweat to help keep your motors cool and your temperature in the proper range.
But, there are a few other benefits of working up a sweat each day:
- Your heart becomes more efficient and gradually pumps more blood with each beat and improves your circulation.
- You flood tissues like ligaments and tendons with oxygen helping injuries heal.
- You burn fat (and the more you have on your body, the quicker you will start to sweat).
- You build stronger bones and muscles.
- You become more flexible.
- You manage stress more effectively and feel more positive about life.
- You sleep better.
Sweating is good for you but don't confuse the sweat produced in a sauna with the stuff that drips off your nose while pedaling up hill. Although your cooling yourself by sweating in a sauna, your muscles are taking a break. Remember, to get fit, you need to sweat from movement.
If you haven't exercised regularly, see your family physician first. Once you have the okay, find yourself a dance floor and gyrate your way to a healthy, sweaty time (the leather pants are optional).
Make today count.
Chief Physical Therapist