Some people tell me that they don’t have to use a sauna because they sweat a lot when they exercise. However, sweating in the sauna is more beneficial for detoxification than sweating during exercise. Here’s why:
Sweating During Exercise
During exercise, your sympathetic nervous system is active. This is known as the fight-or-flight response. When you are in a sympathetic state, your body is not worried about detoxification or elimination. Instead, the body’s energy and resources are directed to meet the demands of exercise. For this reason, toxin elimination through the sweat is inhibited during exercise.
Sweating in a Sauna
When you are inside a sauna, your parasympathetic nervous system is activated. You are calm and relaxed. Energy is directed to the eliminative organs such as the liver, stomach, and intestines. In this state, your body works on healing, detoxification, and regeneration. That’s why you will release more toxins through your sweat while using a sauna.
I don’t have any scientific studies to cite here, but one test you can do is to smell your towel after you use a sauna. It will smell much worse than the sweat you produce during exercise.
Energy Expenditure Differences
Another thing to note is that it takes a lot more energy to produce the same amount of sweat during exercise as you would produce in a sauna. The sauna provides an external energy source to induce sweating. This saves a lot of energy that the body can use for detoxification and healing.
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