The 4S’s: Why Work Up a Sweat? 

Some of you may know that we’ve been personal trainers for eleven years.  

And as Personal Trainers, we have a list of four things; four daily non-negotiables. I call them the 4S’s: sweat, steps, shiver, strength. And one—or a combination—of those needs to happen every day.  

During our lives as PTs, quite a few of our clients mentioned that they don’t like to sweat. In fact, only a few days ago I heard this comment again which prompted this article. So, let’s talk a bit more about the benefits of sweating and why it so important.  

The Benefits of Getting Sweaty 

As mentioned earlier, this month I want to focus on the first of the 4S’s: sweat.  

First of all, what is sweat? Sweat is your body’s way of cooling you down 

When your body starts to feel that it’s overheating, it starts sweating as a way to control its temperature.  

Now, what could you do to break a sweat, and why would you want to? Well, sweating has many benefits such as detoxification, for example.  A 2016 study* in China indicated that the levels of most heavy metals were lower in those people who exercised regularly. 

Heavy metals were found in the sweat and urine with a higher concentration in the sweat, leading to the conclusion that, along with urinating, sweating is a potential method for the elimination of heavy metals. 

Sweating also increases shock protein production. Heat shock proteins—or HSPs—form as our bodies react to thermal stress (unusually high or low temperatures). The positive effects of this include: 

  • Increased immune health 
  • Faster muscle recovery and repair 
  • Higher insulin production 

Using Heat Therapy 

Getting hot causes, a great number of physiological responses. Of course, I mean to a safe intensity and for the right duration. And one way to reap the benefits is with a sauna: an infrared sauna, a sauna at your gym or local health club, perhaps you have one at home. You can also get sauna suits, much like large sleeping bags, which do up to the neck. They can be just as effective and are certainly cheaper than some other options.  

Physical Activity 

Alternatively, you might go for a run, or try hot yoga. And of course, physical activity releases endorphins, boosting your mood as well. The point is to bring this idea to life in a way that is achievable for you. Sweating is one of the most accessible tools for wellbeing. Something you could do every day—or alternate with the other 4S’s—to maximise your health and happiness. So, what can you do today, or one day this week, to get your sweat on?