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What’s Sweet About Sweat

What’s Sweet About Sweat

In a 1984 Gillette commercial, football coach Dan Reeves was asked about the three “nevers” it takes to be a winning coach. He answered: “Never let the press pick your starting quarterback. Never take a last place team lightly. And, really, no matter what the score, never let ‘em see you sweat.” But sweat you must if you want to reap the benefits of working out.

Tracking around 204,000 adults ages 45 to 75 for more than six years, Australian researchers discovered that adding a dose of vigorous exercise to your workout -- your respiration increases, you can only talk in short sentences, and you a sweat -- delivers substantial benefits.

Compared to folks who exercise only moderately (that still makes your RealAge 4 years younger), if more than a third of your activity is vigorous, you make your RealAge another 1.6 years younger and lower your risk of an early death by 13%. Compared to people who don’t get any activity, your risk of a too-early-end is slashed in half.

How does sweating do that? Besides helping rid your body of toxins, sweating increases your cardiovascular strength, boosts your endorphin levels (which relieves stress and the related health risks) and stimulates your skin’s natural antibiotic properties, increasing your resistance to colds and other infections.

If you have diabetes, heart issues or are obese, work with your doc to establish a walking routine and when you can, add some vigorous exercise. Pushing it even a little bit delivers benefits. Go for the glow! 

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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