Sweat is usually associated with unbearable body odor and a need to head for the shower immediately, but research has uncovered a new reason for sweating. In fact, this reason for sweating transforms the negative image of sweating into a positive one! According to researchers at the University of Michigan, sweating can play a prominent role in healing cuts and burns faster. So if you are tempted to skip your fitness class or regular gym session due to skin cuts, minor burns or blisters remember that sweating profusely can speed up your body’s recovery and recuperation time. And that’s not the only useful reason for sweating! According to the American Psychological Association, fitness enthusiasts can improve their cognitive abilities by engaging in sweat producing exercises.
The Link between Sweating and Healing
Researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a survey on 31particiapnts who agreed to be slightly wounded by lasers. Biopsies of the injured skin revealed that certain sweat glands known as eccrine glands are responsible for triggering skin regenerating stem cells. Scientists had previously believed that the skin healed itself by stimulating the formation of new skin cells from the existing skin cells in the area around the surface wound. This new discovery, however, has proved that the recovery process originates from beneath the surface of the skin in the sweat glands.
Researchers and doctors do not recommend that individuals start to forego taking showers in favor of letting the sweat linger on their bodies. Allowing the sweat to sit on the skin surface will not render any benefits; the source of production of the sweat is what matters at the end of the day. Excess sweat which is allowed to linger on the body for long periods of time leads to plugging of pores and subsequent breakout of acne. Researchers at the University of Michigan are of the opinion that this discovery can be of great use to find a cure for slow-to-heal health complications such as ulcers.
Improve Cognitive Health by Breaking out into a Sweat
According to Art Kramer, PhD, psychologist at the University of Illinois, engaging in rigorous cardiovascular exercises not only improves physical health but also boosts cognitive ability, learning capacity, and memory. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (December 2009) concluded that men with higher cardiovascular fitness also had better scores on measures of verbal ability, logic, general intelligence, and visuospatial ability. The researchers published these findings after examining the records of 1.2 million Swedish men, all of whom were 18 years old.
While the exact biological link between exercise and improved cognitive ability has not been determined yet, scientists have been able to derive a general idea from studies carried out on rats, mice and dogs. According to Brian Christie, PhD, psychologist at University of Victoria, exercise leads to the growth and development of new capillaries and an increased blood flow to the brain. This leads to the development of more nerve cells and improved neuron functioning.