Think of the skin as the body's natural filter and sweat as the vehicle for impurities. The skin -- sometimes referred to as the third kidney -- sweats as a means of detoxifying the system. According to a study published in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition," sweat contains metabolic waste, including lactic acid. For athletes, expelling lactic acid after a workout increases the muscles' oxygen uptake and speeds recovery, explains Stephen M. Roth, a professor in the kinesiology department at the University of Maryland. Try steam room or sauna therapy to induce sweating after strenuous exercise, but approach it cautiously. Short sweats prove helpful, but too much time in a hot room can produce undesirable health results.
Pick a sterile environment for sweat therapy. You can find a eucalyptus steam room or dry sauna at your local gym or spa.
Venture into the steam room or shower. Lay your towel down on the bench and relax, breathing in the hot air.
Allow your body to sweat, but don't wipe the perspiration from your skin. Perspiring is the body's natural way of cooling. Keeping sweat on the skin helps your body maintain a healthy temperature.
Remain in the hot room for 10 to 20 minutes. For your first sweat, err on the shorter side, then gradually increase your stay.
Stand up slowly, allowing your body to adjust, and cautiously leave the steam room or sauna. Sit in a nearby chair until your body cools.
Hop into a warm shower. If you can stand it, turn the temperature to cool for a quick stint. This allows your lymph to flush, further removing toxins and accumulated lactic acid.
Dry off, change and enjoy an electrolyte drink to replenish your salts.
Repeat this twice a week after hard workouts for best results.
Rubbing herbal essential oils into your skin before you sweat will leave your skin scented and baby soft.
Intense steam rooms and saunas are not recommended for people with heart conditions. If you have hypertension, consult your doctor before attempting sweat therapy.
Leave the hot room immediately and lie on your back if you become faint or lightheaded. Replenish your fluids and seek assistance if needed.
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: Global Untargeted Metabolic Profiling of Human Sweat From Exercising Men and Women
- British Journal of Sports Medicine: Secretion of Eccrine Sweat Glands During Exercise
- New World Encyclopedia: Sweat
- Scientific American: Why Does Lactic Acid Build Up In Muscles? And Why Does It Cause Soreness?
Christina Shepherd McGuire writes articles about adventure sports, fashion, mothering and natural living. Since 2003, her work has appeared in "Action Outdoor and Bike Magazine," "Teton Family Magazine," "The Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine" and several online publications. McGuire holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.