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Simple Changes: Sweat a little

Want that healthy glow? If you make it yourself your beauty will be more than skin deep! Here are some surprising reasons why it's good to sweat when you're exercising.

Exercise that makes you sweat has been researched as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which combines intense periods of exercise with periods of rest or less intense exercise. HIIT is:

Good for cardiovascular health. HIIT promotes healthy cholesterol levels. (1)

Good for diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions: Increases glucose tolerance, decreases insulin resistance. Helps to better regulate your blood sugar. (2)

Best for weight loss. It’s also the most effective exercise for losing weight. (3)

Good for your body temperature. Exercise that makes you sweat improves your cardio respiratory fitness, and therefore your ability to regulate your body temperature (less uncomfortable and easier to sleep in warm weather) and control hot flashes. (4)

Great for your brain. HIIT improves cerebrovascular health and blood flow to the brain for both young and older adults. (3) It positively impacts brain executive function (4) which includes your working memory and the following skills:

  • Paying attention

  • Organizing, planning, and prioritizing

  • Starting tasks and staying focused on them to completion

  • Understanding different points of view

  • Regulating emotions

  • Self-monitoring (keeping track of what you’re doing) (5)

Not everyone is ready to start working up a sweat while exercising, and it's important to be in touch with your doctor about your exercise regimen. That said most people can safely handle a moderate exercise (heart and respiratory rate increase but you can still carry on a conversation) and from there gradually add in short periods of more intense exercise.

One of the main reasons why I started to have regular acupuncture treatments when I was in my early 40s was because I wanted to be able to run regularly. At that time, every time I took a jog I got a headache. I never learned the exact cause of my headaches, but as it turned out that wasn't necessary. After a few treatments I started running daily with no problems. Within a few months, I had built up to 5 miles a day, further than I had ever been able to run in my whole life!

Acupuncture makes exercise easier by improving circulatory, respiratory, and postural and joint alignment problems (proper alignment helps to prevent injury). It also helps resolve both acute and chronic injuries that limit physical activity when they happen.

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