The Healing Power of … Perspiration?

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Here in Montana we spend a lot of time outside. No matter the season, there are always things to do. Skiing, hiking, biking and trail running are just some of the ways we take advantage of all the recreational opportunities Montana has to offer.

This active lifestyle, however, brought something to our attention that we wanted to check out. We became curious when we started to notice that whether we were outdoors or not, after exercise our bodies felt great, our minds were clear and … our skin looked amazing. So, we set about finding out why.

We started to notice that, after a good workout, our bodies felt great, our minds were clear and … our skin looked amazing.

Wellness experts have long extolled the virtues of getting – and keeping – moving as we age. In addition to having a positive affect on our physical health, some form of regular movement also helps our mental health. There’s enough science behind this to fill several textbooks, but in essence, experts say vigorous movement makes our bodies release certain hormones (like serotonin, which makes us feel good) and lowers the body’s production of others like cortisol which is amped up by stress. For example, too much cortisol can decrease thyroid function and decrease bone density; just two of the reasons why exercise not only makes us feel good, but is good for our health, too. When we feel happy and healthy, we’re more likely to want to exercise. 

Whether it’s a mom with a baby jogger doing the Central Park loop, or an executive grabbing a spin class at lunch, or a Big Sky Wind Drinker running an M lap, or a grandmother working out through the Silver Sneakers fitness program offered by Medicare, it’s clear that regular movement of almost any kind is a key to good health, and is a gift that keeps on giving, no matter what our age.

But our research revealed another huge benefit to getting that body moving. It turns out that the annoying sweat that is created by exercise is actually really good for our skin as well.

Recent research by anti-aging skin professionals and physicians has shown that perspiration – that’s right, good old sweat – provides many benefits to our skin, keeping us looking younger, helping remove toxins, and increasing the blood circulation that makes us glow. Sweat might just be skin’s secret weapon.

Good old sweat – provides many benefits to our skin, keeping us looking younger, helping remove toxins, and increasing the blood circulation that makes us glow.

Those of us who have regular facials already know about the beauty secrets of post-sweat skin. We always look more youthful and radiant after having that warm, moist air opening up our pores during a treatment in the spa. Our research showed that when we sweat, toxins are released, opening up clogged pores that can make the skin on our faces appear dull. 

Perspiration also makes our bodies secrete sebum, which acts as a bacteria barrier as well as a lubricant on our skin. As we grow older, the production and secretion of sebum decreases. In order to boost our beauty now, and specifically as we age, we need to be moving enough to sweat every day to benefit from all the perks of perspiration.

However, none of the skin-care experts recommend that sweat remain on top of our skin forever, or even for more than an hour. So do bring a towel with you when you’re exercising enough to break a sweat. Followed by a good, hot shower, your skin is going to feel - and look - great.

Our advice? Forget the Botox injections, going under the knife, and spending thousands of dollars on chemically-laden, anti-aging lotions and potions, and get moving instead. It’s a much cheaper and healthier alternative. And everyone’s going to wonder why you look so great. Just tell them, it’s the secret of sweat.

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Few things are more attractive than skin that glows. It projects a radiant, healthy you. Experts say just 15 minutes of exercise will circulate the blood and release the happy chemicals in the brain. If the exercise is vigorous enough you will sweat, opening your pores and getting that wonderful, healthy glow. 

For best results, exercise enough to sweat for a minimum of 15 minutes every day*. Preferably in the morning before a good, hot shower to prepare you mind and skin for the day ahead. 

*Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen, especially if you’ve been sedentary for awhile and are older – but if you get the ok, start with taking a nice, brisk walk.

To sweat or not to sweat? Join the conversation below.

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