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Embrace the health benefits of a good sweat

Aug. 15, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

When it comes to celebrities, getting your clothing sweaty seems to increase the value: Take the $300,000 that Michael Jackson's performance-drenched white glove sold for, or the $771,000 that Babe Ruth's summertime stripes earned. But many people would like to avoid sweat as much as possible.

We get the aversion, but we are fans of the summer glow -- in winter too. And we hope you'll avoid antiperspirants (deodorants may be OK if they do not contain fragrance or phthalates) and follow our tips.

1. Embrace the health benefits of a good sweat. Activity-induced sweat raises your heart rate (in a cool room, you'll sweat when your heart rate is over 80 percent of your age-adjusted maximum), reduces blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels, dispels stress hormones, and burns calories faster. Passive sweat -- from a sauna -- is beneficial IF you don't overdo it. Too hot or too long can stress your heart. Bonus: When you sweat a lot, the B.O. will go as you cleanse impurities from your system.

2. Do you get flop sweats (high anxiety can make for some strong body odors)? Meditation and regular physical activity help calm your system down. Find someone -- friend, therapist, family member -- to talk to about your nervousness. In the meantime, keep your underarms bacteria-free (they generate the smell) by shaving your pits, applying alcohol-based hand sanitizer or taking a very small dose of a beta blocker (high blood pressure meds).

3. Plagued by hyperhidrosis -- severely excessive sweating? Botox can turn off the tap for up to six months.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.