Regular exercise is one of the ways through which most people manage to maintain their weight and subsequently live a healthy lifestyle. There are a number of exercise programs that can be adopted as part of an individual’s lifestyle with some of them involving activities that may stretch the skin.
The result of the over stretching of the skin when exercising is likely to lead to stretch marks. If you don’t know what they look like they usually have long lines that are either purple, red or pink in color. Then after some time they turn to more of a white color.
Even though, stretch marks can appear when you’re doing a variety of exercises the most common is weightlifting which involves the building of muscles within a short time period. The muscles that are built in the body stretch the skin rapidly; especially in the arms for weightlifters. Essentially it’s a minor breakdown of the connective tissues. Therefore, it’s important to regulate the amount of exercise being done especially when you first see the signs of stretch marks. At this stage you still have time to take action and prevent further damage.
There are a number of ways in which stretch marks can be prevented when working out. They include:
Slow & Steady
When working out, it is important to avoid maximal weights because they encourage the body to build up muscles very quickly resulting in stretch marks. Therefore, it is advisable to lift moderately heavy weights so that the building up of muscles is gradual.
Integrate different types of exercise when working out to regulate between the building up of muscles and the burning of body fat. Cardio exercises are one of the best exercises to do alternately with muscle building exercises to lessen the chances of developing stretch marks.
Lift weights on a regular basis but alternate days that you build certain sets. So if you go to the gym every other day you could alternate between building the upper and lower body. Rest periods should also be frequent so that the muscles don’t get overly stretched.
What you don’t want to do is work out too hard and push them right to the limit. This means your muscles will be pushed to the max in terms of size therefore over stretching your skin. If you’re doing this all the time the stretch marks won’t be far off.
Exfoliation of the skin after working out is important as it stimulates blood circulation, removes dead skin cells and promotes healthy skin growth. Making sure skin is properly moisturized so that it’s supple can also help protect against the marks. And of course drinking lots of water and staying well hydrated is important too. This helps your skin maintain its natural elasticity.
Overall, the trick to avoid stretch marks while working out is to balance the various exercises to be able to regulate the build-up of muscle in the body so that it’s gradual. It’s tempting to want to see results very quickly which results in you doing too much. But what you don’t want is for your muscles to be tainted by stretch marks after all your hard work.