Some Basic Steps for Nurturing Your Body’s Surfaces
Diet and exercise, of course, are for the bodybuilder two of the key components that contribute to the quality and appearance of the skin. A bodybuilding lifestyle where the objective is to build muscle mass and strength, can sometimes also create reactions on the epidermal surface. For instance, a diet high in fatty acids or “junk” foods during the off-season can lead to the skin appearing blotchy and breaking out in pimples. Since the skin is also one of the body’s eliminatory organs, toxins passing through the skin can cause blemishes.
Skin, Nutrition and Diet Issues in the Bodybuilding Lifestyle
Maintaining a well-balanced diet free of useless fats will contribute greatly to skin health and appearance. Researchers have found that antioxidants may be of value in preserving the skin’s elasticity and texture because of their ability to reduce damage to collagen and other cellular membranes caused by “free radicals.” These free radicals are molecular distortions within cells (caused by sun exposure as well as the aging process itself) that increase the risk of wrinkles and even skin cancers. A diet rich in antioxidant nutrients can thus be useful in preventing this type of skin cell damage. Consider including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and the trace mineral selenium in your diet. Also fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamins A and C. Check at your health food and supplements stores for a reputable brand that carries vitamin E and selenium. Reliable food sources of selenium are whole-grain cereals and breads, fish from the sea and poultry, while vitamin E can be found in small amounts in wheat germ, whole grain products, vegetable oils and green leafy vegetables.
Tanning and Skin Protection
Nowadays everyone realizes that a tanned appearance can be developed either naturally or chemically or even through a combination of both. For the most fair-skinned, some natural tanning base will probably create the best-toned tan. A natural tan gives you a thinner and darker looking skin, while chemicals can only darken your skin. Of course, just sun tanning or using an indoor tanning bed needs to be done over six to eight weeks. Do not try to rush the process by burning the skin–a sunburn will just draw water into the skin, making you appear much smoother than you actually are.
Bodybuilders in particular who may be taking diuretics need to be extremely cautious about overexposure to ultraviolet light: consult a physician about the possible interactions between the sun and any diuretic substances you may be using at the same time. Fair-skinned athletes should also consider using a sunscreen on their skin as they gradually increase exposure time – although everyone should also use a sufficiently high SP level protectant as consistently as possible. A sunscreen will filter out harmful, burning rays and permit the tanning rays of the sun to reach the skin. Although the safe tanning beds and tanning creams are quite popular with bodybuilders who do not have sufficient time for a complete natural tanning process, many will still try to make the time for some natural tanning during the days preceding a bodybuilding event because they like the dehydrating effect on the skin.
Caring for Your Skin as a Vital Organ
Finally, always bear in mind that the skin is more than just the bodily surface: it is also an organ, and one which is going through constant change. Combine that with the changes in the world environment, and you will understand why practising sensible protected exposure is so essential. Being very physically active is itself an excellent form of skin conditioning, so the bodybuilder really needs to only keep his eye on some simple additional methods of supplementing his skin’s vitality. Managing your exposure to the elements, along with nutrition that maximizes your skin’s well-being and skin care products suitable for your skin type are all strategies to maintaining a skin condition that will be as fit as the rest of your body.