Welcome back to our Full Year of Resolutions! We’ve made it to week 10! How’s it going so far? Have you tried any of the weekly tips we’ve shared? We’d love to hear of any of your successes, or answer any questions you might have as you progress on your journey to optimal health.
This week’s tip (check out the video here) is one of my favorites, because it’s something I honestly love to do. Week 10’s tip is detoxing through sweat. Borrowing a phrase from Robyn Openshaw, also known as the Green Smoothie Girl, we like to achieve “a river of sweat” for at least 10 minutes a day.
David’s Favorite Way to Detox Through Sweat
As an avid cycler, David loves to pedal his way to sweat. Typically he rides outside, 3-4 days per week. When it’s too cold to ride outdoors, he cycles indoors on his NordicTrack iFit. Can’t afford fancy equipment for your home? No problem! There are so many options. Find an affordable gym and get on their bike or treadmill or stair stepper.
David is currently training for the Huntsman Senior Games happening in October. Several years ago he won 3 of 4 events. He was unable to compete in the 4th event because of his cancer, but he still won overall cyclist for his age group. Having a goal to work towards helps you to stay motivated. He loves cycling because his brain releases those endorphins that make you feel good.
Carla’s Favorite Way to Detox Through Sweat
Although she is also a consistent exerciser, Carla loves to create a river of sweat in the sauna. She has an infrared sauna in her home, but many gym memberships include access to a sauna. There are also many infrared sauna spas available where you can join through a membership as well.
Carla turns the temperature to 150 degrees in her sauna. That river of sweat usually starts happening about 15 minutes in. She drinks plenty of water while in the sauna. This is important; as you sweat your body is losing water, so you need to rehydrate. She brings in a metal container with a metal straw, (because when plastic gets hot it leaches chemicals), and drinks water throughout her sauna session.
Using a bluetooth system, she can leave her phone outside the sauna and listen to a favorite podcast. Sometimes she’ll exercise in the sauna to increase the sweating. She can do squats or yoga poses or stretch. Sometimes Carla puts some music on and meditates during her time in the spa. And occasionally, when she just needs some ‘me time,’ she’ll spend her spa time relaxing and meditating.
The Healing Benefits of an Infrared Sauna
The list of health benefits of infrared saunas is kind of astounding. It’s also entirely supported by scientific studies. Check out the many important ways you benefit when you detox through sweat by using a sauna:
- Boosts the immune system and the respiratory system, naturally
- May help fight cancer
- Good for cardiovascular health (reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke)
- Supports longevity
- Helps fight diabetes
- Supports detoxification of heavy metals and other stored toxins
- Supports healthy weight loss
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Supports a healthy, happy brain
- Improves skin health (reduction in wrinkles, improved skin tone, etc)
- Restores energy and improves Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Improves sleep and reduces insomnia
- Reduces menstrual pain
- Helps relieve allergy symptoms
- Helps treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Accelerates wound healing
- Improves muscle recovery
- Improves physical performance and endurance
- Increases HGH, human growth hormone
(You can read more about the amazing health benefits of sweating it out in the sauna in this article.)
Think You Don’t Need to Detox? Think Again
Each of the benefits on this list is significant. One of my favorites is that it helps to detoxify heavy metals and other toxins from our bodies. No matter how “clean” you live, it’s impossible to avoid the many toxins in our environment. Just about everybody shows evidence of a buildup of toxins in their body.
The CDC conducted the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals and found some pretty shocking results. On average, there are 212 chemicals in people’s blood or urine, 75 of which had never before been measured in the U.S. population. These chemicals represent a toxic burden to the human body, and they can accumulate in your blood, urine, and tissue.
The skin is a major detox organ. Sweating through the skin is a critical human detox function. But most of us don’t sweat regularly or enough for skin detox to work effectively enough.
Ben Greenfield, a human performance consultant and popular fitness author, explains one reason why he is “addicted” to his sauna. “A sauna can purify the body from the inside out, eliminating compounds such as PCB’s, metals and toxins that are stored in fat cells, which can undergo lipolysis and release toxins upon exposure to infrared-based heat. Yep, you read that right: you are going to battle against and killing little screaming fat cells to death when you sweat in a sauna. They don’t shrink: they die.”
The Connection Between Heart Health and Sauna Sweat
There are many studies confirming the benefits of an infrared sauna. One 20-year study tracked 2,300 middle-aged men in Finland, where sauna time is a way of life. The results were pretty astounding: not only did time spent in a sauna lower risk of fatal heart issues, it also extended the life of participants with other illnesses, including cancer.
Study participants who had 2-3 sauna sessions per week had a 22% reduced chance of suffering sudden cardiac death. Those who participated in 4-7 weekly sauna sessions had the greatest benefits. Compared to participants who just had one session a week, they had a 63% lower risk of sudden cardiac death. They also had 50% lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease, 48% lower risk of death by coronary heart disease, and were 40% less likely to die from all causes.
Wow! By simply spending time in a sauna, you can significantly lower your risk of sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease, and other fatal illnesses. It’s scientifically proven to extend your life!
Find a Way to Detox Through Sweat
We’ve shared a couple of our favorite ways to achieve that “river of sweat” that is so beneficial to your health. But there are so many ways to do it! You can run on a treadmill or outside. Get a group of friends together and form a walking group. Even in bad weather, you can find a mall to walk in just about anywhere in the country. Or, join a gym and use their cardio machines to get your sweat on.
The important thing is to find something that works for you, and to be consistent. Remember, achieving a river of sweat for at least 10 minutes is what’s needed for good detoxing. Once you start doing this regularly, you’ll notice you begin to feel better. That’s because those awesome feel-good endorphins release in your brain as you sweat.
If this is something that’s new to you, start slow. Work up to it. As always, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about incorporating this into your health regimen. Find something that you can do to achieve that detox through sweat, as it will help you to achieve your optimal health.
We’ll talk more about this on our free coaching call on Tuesday, March 29th, at 6:00 pm. Text COACHING to 1-647-558-9895 to get on our email reminder list for all of our More Than Healthy coaching events.
Thanks for joining us on your journey to optimal health! We love that you’re here! Please leave any comments, questions, or feedback below.