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Acne and Exercise

June 26, 2017

Acne and Exercise

You may think this is an odd topic for a blog post; why would having acne impact the choice of exercise someone decides to do?

Let’s go back a couple of steps.

Firstly, not everyone with acne has the same cause to their skin complaint. It can be from wide variety of reasons. For example: hormonal changes (puberty, pre-menstrual, pregnancy), eating a poor diet (greasy fatty foods), nutrient deficiencies (not eating enough fruits and vegetables), stress (increase in cortisol increases testosterone) or diseases of the endocrine system that can cause a hormonal imbalance (PCOS, Cushing’s disease).

Basically, acne is a result of increase sebum secretions from the sebaceous gland. The gland can be instructed to increase secretions by testosterone as well as other factors. For this blog post I will be more focused on people with diseases such as PCOS.

Women affected by Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) “generally” have more testosterone in the body than women not affected by this condition. The increase testosterone will increase sebum secretion on the face, increase facial and body hair and make the management of weight difficult.

Here is where the importance of choosing the ‘right’ type of exercise lies. Generally, many of us think if we go for a run or do a cardio session at the gym, this should be enough to manage our weight. The issue here is cardio can be stressful on the body, which in turn will increase cortisol secretions from the Adrenals and in turn increase testosterone, ultimately flaring up the acne. People with PCOS should be more focused on building muscle than burning fat.

The reason stems from the insulin resistance PCOS women have. You can reduce insulin resistance with exercise as this will help women ovulate and manage their condition better. However, Resistance Training (weight training) is more suited to their body’s physiological needs as oppose to cardio. The reason all comes down to insulin.

You see glucose (molecules broken down from carbohydrates) needs insulin to transport it to the muscle, liver and fats cells in the body. If the body has Insulin Resistance, then this job is done poorly so more insulin is released. To make the insulin work more efficiently, weight training will get more glucose in the muscle cells (where it is used up) and less around the fat (where it sits around until the body needs some energy).

If this is resembles your circumstances take a step back and look at how you are exercising. Perhaps stop the cardio for the time being and start lifting up some weights. I can almost guarantee you will feel a lot healthier and better lifting weights than running around in a body attack class. This is comes down to what your body needs to run optimally.

If this article has been useful, feel free to share it amongst your friends on social.

Better yet; share with us your experience. Have you felt better lifting weights?

Always listen to your body and not those around you. Your instincts are always going to be 100% right for you.

Yours in Great Health,

Irene xo

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