Have you ever tried to lose weight,really truly tried, and ended up frustrated that the scale didn’t budge? As it turns out it may not be your fault. A recent study found that it’s harder for people to be fit today than in the '80s even while eating the same amount of calories and doing similar exercises.
How can this be? In short, it’s because of all the junk and toxins that we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Pesticides, flame retardants, and the substances in food packaging might all be altering our hormonal processes and tweaking the way our bodies put on and maintain weight. Plus, we’re all taking a lot more medications than we were 30+ years ago. These medications end up in our water, polluting our bodies even further. (This is a WHOLE other blog for another day, but it’s so scary right?). The increase in over-processed foods, preservatives, and junk food have disrupted the healthy bacteria in our gut.
These toxins can build up in our bodies and lead to all kinds of illnesses. BPA alone is linked to reproductive disorders, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fetal brain development delays, asthma, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Plus, add in the negative health effects of other chemicals and metals and you get a cocktail for disaster.
Our bodies already work hard to flush out toxins through healthy processes like sweating and urinating (as well as through the liver) but it’s hard for our bodies to keep up with the constant onslaught of chemicals.
What can you do to help your body along? You can sweat.
When we sweat, our bodies release the toxins and harmful metals that build up over time. Sweating can also help remove chemicals like BPA, which is used in the production of plastics. Fun fact: sweat is the most effective way to remove these toxins (especially metals), since it removes more than urination or the liver.
Obviously, you can work up a sweat at the gym or at home by doing cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercise but you can also sweat it out in a sauna. Some spas even offer detox saunas specifically for this reason.
And flushing your body of toxins isn’t the only reason to love a good sweat session. Sweating is also proven to clear up the skin (leaving a glowing complexion), boost your mood and immunity, improve blood flow and circulation, and of course help you lose weight (if you’re into that sort of thing). We recommend starting with whatever you can! Strive for 30 minutes per day, but any amount is better than nothing at first. And remember, you can sweat in a yoga session! Which means you can work in some gym time and some meditation time. Win, win!
At the end of the day, sweat is your body’s best friend. A sweaty selfie can be as much a badge of honor as a productive day at the office. And the more toxins you flush out of your body, the better you’ll feel and the more your skin will glow.