The Good and Bad of Exercising and Acne

What New Year would be complete without a well-meaning resolution to start exercising more? I know that I’m a few weeks late on the whole Jan 1st thing, but I’ve absolved myself of any guilt as it relates to working out for the first 19 days of 2011 and I’ve set my sights on the remaining 346 days of this year.

In an effort to reduce my acne causing stress and of course, to look ravishing in my wedding dress, I joined a gym today and I’ve started my journey to a kick ass wedding body. Of course, since no good deed goes unpunished, I know I’m going to have a higher chance of acne breakouts. Here’s the ‘skinny’ on acne and exercise.

Exercise and sweat are always good. Well, almost always. As you exercise, toxins are being released from your body, right along with the sweat. Working up a good sweat a couple times a week can improve your skin, as well as the rest of your body. But (there’s always a ‘but’), sweat can also be the culprit when it comes to post workout breakouts. Here are a couple tips that athletes know to avoid exercise induced acne:

Shower as soon as possible – If you don’t shower off soon after working out (not more than 30 minutes) all of those toxins and bacteria will sit on your skin, creating a breeding ground for breakouts. Yuck!

Wear loose fitting, cotton clothing – Now you may look great in spandex tank tops (I don’t, but you may), however tight fitting spandex or other material that doesn’t really breathe can trap the bacteria as well as cause rubbing and irritation. The perfect environment for growing pesky pimples.

Drink lots of water – If you become dehydrated, your skin will start producing more oil. That of course can lead to . . . more zits! Drinking water before, during and after your workouts will help your body release the unwanted toxins without kicking your oil producing glands into overdrive.

So if you’re an athlete (or just someone pretending to be one – like me), make sure you take the proper precautions so that your time at the gym doesn’t wreak havoc on your skin.

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