Rosacea and Exercise
It seems like every day there’s a different study being reported on the benefits and importance of exercise. Working out helps keep your weight down, improves the health of your bones, your cardiovascular system, even your mental state. But exercising presents unique challenges for people who have rosacea. Whether because of overheating, sweating, strain of exertion or a rush of adrenaline, exercise is a common trigger for flares. This does not mean that you need to stop exercising (or that you can use your rosacea as an excuse); in fact, studies have shown that most rosacea sufferers who work out every day don’t report exercise as a trigger. It’s those who exercise irregularly who have the biggest flare response, so it’s possible that if you’re not currently working out every day, you may want to consider introducing moderate daily exercise. Here are some tips for rosacea-friendly exercise.
Keep it cool
- Whether you’re exercising inside or outside, these are words for rosacea patients to live by. Getting overheated by putting yourself into an environment that is too warm can bring on flushing. Exercise in an air conditioned gym, grab the treadmill that has the built-in fan, and make sure you have a small towel with you that you’ve soaked in cool water; you can use it to blot your face, or drape it around the back of your neck to keep yourself from overheating. If your workout takes you into the great outdoors, try to time it for when the sun is at its lowest –the early morning is when the air is coolest and the sun is lowest, and you’ll find that everything feels fresher, quieter and much more peaceful. It’s a great time for a walk or a run – but remember to put on your sunscreen before you head out.
Don’t Get Too Worked Up
- A good cardiovascular workout is important, but if you have rosacea, you should stop going for maximum output; a good workout does not need to get your heart racing. Remember that rosacea is a condition that affects the blood vessels in your face; easing into your exercise routine avoids shocking your system and sudden dilation. If you sense that you’re overdoing it and feel your face getting warm, take a breather. Breaking your workout up into a few shorter fifteen minute workouts may be smarter for you. The same goes for weight lifting and strength training. If you’re grunting and straining, then you’re much more likely to bring on flushing and breakouts – lightening up your load will still keep your muscles toned, but with rosacea, you want to avoid the burn.
Stay Well Hydrated
- Everybody should drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and rosacea sufferers need more water than the general public in order to keep yourself cool and reduce the chances of flushing or overheating. Adding exercise into the mix ups the ante on your need for fluids, so be sure that you have a container of water or sports drink with you, and make sure you keep drinking.
- If you’re looking for a great cardiovascular workout that doesn’t exacerbate your condition, get yourself to the pool! Swimming is really the perfect answer for rosacea patients. It provides a total body workout in an environment that keeps your body cool, and it is a great stress reliever. Check out your local gym or community center to see whether they have water aerobics classes, and if you’re a runner, look into deep water running; it will give you as good a workout (possibly better) as the miles you get outside, with no impact to your knees and joints, and it will reduce your chance of a flare.
- Yoga provides a great workout that is also a stress reliever. Contact your local yoga studio and ask the instructor which class they recommend for people who need to avoid heat or exertion. Though some rosacea patients say that even hot yoga classes don’t aggravate their condition, you may want to avoid it.