I’ve been sweating for the past two hours.

It was such a beautiful day outside that I revised my workout plans, traded my jump rope for the jogging stroller, and headed outside with my son for a 30-minute jog. 
My son totally enjoyed our outing...Can't you tell?

Sometimes you can start to feel like a robot if you are always exercising indoors with stationary, lifeless equipment or staring at a TV as a fitness instructor barks orders at you through the screen. 

 It reminds me of the training scene in Rocky IV—which just so happens to be my favorite movie of all time—when, while Ivan Drago is hooked up to a tangle of monitors slaving away on state-of-the-art sterile equipment in his trainers’ lab, Rocky grabs his ultra-cool bomber jacket and heads out into the Russian terrain to pound some snow drifts.

Watch the video here.

That was exactly what I needed—except trade the snow drifts for a nice, subtle-graded neighborhood street flanked with azalea bushes.

Back to my workout. Ok, so I did come back inside after my run to complete P90X Plyometrics, and after all of that, I was soaked. Seriously, I sweat like a man. I’m convinced that if you don’t look ugly after a workout, you didn’t work hard enough. I look so gritty when I exercise that I scare small children (except my own, who looked only mildly amused).

But even with my soaked clothes and frizzy hair, it’s amazing how healthy it is to break a sweat. Not only is it our bodies’ own built-in cooling system, but it provides maximum health benefits, including:

+ Improving skin tone and flexibility
+ Removing toxins from the liver, kidneys and cardiovascular system
+ Cleansing your skin’s pores
+ Improves circulation
+ Boosting your immune system

Basically, I have to look like Richard Simmons before I can look like Gisele. (Yeah, that’s the only thing keeping me from being her twin.)

Don’t forget: you must replenish the fluids you lose during exertion to get the benefits of sweating. Dehydration can inhibit the kidneys and liver of properly disposing of toxins. Your body also loses electrolytes when you sweat, which can lead to an imbalance if not replaced. This imbalance can cause heart arrhythmia, weakness—even confusion, and I’ve noticed that my body retains water if I don’t drink enough after a workout. And who of us actually want to look bigger after we work out? Exactly. So be sure to rehydrate for a few hours after an intense workout.