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Is Sweating Good For Your Skin

by Lyndon Langley
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Is Sweating Good For Your Skin

Is Sweating Good For Your Skin

Your body is not a machine; it is an organism that is constantly growing and changing. The cells in your body are constantly dividing and dying so they can be replaced with new ones. This process of cell division and death happens every minute of every day and is what keeps your skin looking young. So why do we get older? Why do our skin start to change as we age? There are two reasons for this: First, you lose water weight when you age. Second, there is a decrease in collagen production which leads to wrinkling of the skin. In addition to these processes, there are also changes within the actual cells themselves. As you age, certain proteins called “telomeres” become shorter. Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres. When telomerase levels decrease, telomere length shortens. Aging is associated with shortened telomeres. A reduction in telomere length results in decreased cellular function, increased DNA damage, and premature senescence (the state of permanent cell cycle arrest). Therefore, the loss of telomerase activity contributes to aging.
As well as aging, other factors affect how old you look. We all know that smoking has negative health consequences, but did you know that smoking actually causes your skin to wrinkle prematurely? Smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer by causing mutations in genes responsible for controlling cell growth. These gene mutations result in uncontrolled cell growth. The same thing happens to cells on the outside of your body; smokers develop wrinkles earlier than non-smokers because their facial skin is more susceptible to free radical damage from cigarette smoke. Free radicals are molecules formed during oxygen metabolism that cause damage to biological tissues including skin. Exposure to UV light stimulates the formation of free radicals. Free radicals attack cells’ genetic material, resulting in damaged or mutated genes. Over time, these mutations accumulate and contribute to many diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Smoking cigarettes depletes the skin of its natural moisture content. Smokers tend to experience thinning and wrinkling of the skin due to dehydration caused by chronic sweating and heavy drinking. Many people think that exercise will help them control their weight and improve their appearance. However, excessive sweating during physical exertion can lead to excess sodium loss through perspiration, leading to further fluid depletion. This condition, known as hypovolemic shock, can lead to severe electrolyte imbalance and potentially fatal heart rhythm irregularities.
In order to maintain a healthy level of hydration, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially after intense workouts. Water is best, and it should be consumed before, during, and after exercise. Some recommend sports drinks to replenish lost nutrients such as carbohydrates and minerals. But if you’re exercising intensely for long periods of time, you may want to consider taking supplements containing vitamins C and E and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that protects against damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, enhances blood flow, and improves circulation. Vitamin C delays the onset of sunburn and reduces the severity of burns. Sunscreens protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. They contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Zinc blocks both UVA and UVB radiation. Titanium dioxide absorbs UVA radiation while reflecting most of the UVB radiation. If you use sunscreen, make sure it contains at least SPF 15 to block both types of radiation. Look for labels stating “broad spectrum,” “full range,” or “waterproof.” If you plan to spend any extended amount of time outdoors, you need to wear sunglasses that cover your eyes completely. Sunglasses reduce glare, prevent sunlight from damaging the cornea, and protect your retinas from UV radiation.
Exercise can also stimulate perspiration and promote the release of stress hormones. Stress produces heat and raises core temperature. You sweat to cool down. Your body releases adrenaline when under stress. Adrenaline causes the blood vessels to constrict. Blood is then pumped toward the skin where it becomes heated and evaporates into sweat. Exercise causes your muscles to contract, making them pump blood faster to the working areas of your body. Once your muscles receive more blood, they begin to produce sweat to combat overheated muscle fibers. Excess amounts of cortisol released during stressful conditions increase insulin secretion and glucose tolerance. Insulin promotes fat storage by increasing the uptake of glucose into skeletal muscle and adipose tissue (fat). Cortisol can also inhibit the breakdown of glycogen stores in the liver. Glycogen is stored starch granules found in the liver and kidneys. Stored glycogen provides energy for activities such as digestion. Glucocorticoids (steroid hormones) produced by the adrenal cortex are involved in numerous metabolic functions. One of the main functions of cortisone is to regulate inflammation, immune response, and protein synthesis.
While sweating itself may seem unhealthy, it plays an important role in regulating our temperature. Our bodies generate heat from aerobic respiration. At rest, the majority of heat generated by basal metabolism is reabsorbed through the feet, head, chest, arms, hands, and torso. Heat dissipation occurs mainly via convection. During exercise, however, heat must be dissipated quickly to avoid hyperthermia. The primary mechanism for heat dissipation during moderate exercise is evaporation. After strenuous exercise, thermoregulation begins to rely more heavily on cutaneous heat conductance and conduction. Sweat glands secrete sweat composed primarily of water and salt. The average adult male secretes about 1 pint (0.4 L), and the average female, 0.7 pints (.3 L) per hour. Normal resting adults excrete 2% to 3% of total body salt. Sweat assists in maintaining homeostasis by removing salts from the blood stream and replacing them with fresh water, thus preventing hyponatremia (low sodium concentration) and hypochloremia (high chloride concentration).
Regular exercise can help to keep your skin healthier. Not only does regular exercise burn calories, it also lowers your BMI. Obesity is linked to various forms of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, kidney disorders, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. Moderate exercise can play a major part in helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
If you suffer from dark circles under your eyes, try avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol consumption can make dark circles worse. Drinking coffee can raise your blood pressure. Coffee beans contain kryptoxanthin, a type of xanthophyll pigment that may trigger allergic reactions. People who take prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, or attention deficit disorder should check with their doctor before consuming coffee. Tea contains catechins, flavanols, theaflavin, thearubigin, and thearubigen, antioxidants believed to fight off free radicals. Green tea contains polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant thought to provide protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Black tea contains theobromine, which may lower blood pressure. Although green and black teas are good sources of nutrition, they still contain large quantities of caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine can irritate the digestive system, nervous system, and urinary tract. Drink herbal tea slowly and pay attention to its taste — strong herbal teas can upset stomachs. Avoid overly sweetened teas, those flavored with chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, peppermint oil, chai spices, vanilla, licorice root, or yerba mate. To enjoy a cup of tea without added sugars, steep the leaves in hot water and strain out the leaves once steeping is complete.
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