by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Just like the name implies, stretch marks are caused when your skin is stretched past its normal boundaries. This is something that is proceeds from excessive weight gain in a short amount of time. Usually, they are noticeable in
long red, purple, or pink lines.
When it comes to exercising, stretch marks can take form when you build high amounts of muscle in a short amount of time, but to prevent them from appearing, you can use several steps to avoid.
Do not perform exaggerated heavy lifting. When you lift heavy weights, you gather a high amount of muscle fibers, which gives you a tendency to bulk up quickly. And indeed, this is the plus side, but the negative side is that stretch marks can also be a result. Instead, lift weights that are moderately heavy instead of extremely heavy.
Try to raise the amount of times you lift weights. When you are heavy lifting, you can only do three to six reps before giving into failure. So instead, perform reps in the 12 to 15 range. This type of exercising can form lean muscle mass instead of bulk. Make sure to take short rest periods between each lift. Shoot for 45 to 60 seconds, and leave weight training for three times a week with days in between.
Don’t allow yourself to be shy with the cardio. Many people who are stuck on getting bigger avoid doing cardio, and this might be effective, but cardio is a calorie-burning exercise that can help stop you from getting too huge too quickly.
To stop the formation of stretch marks, get in the habit of doing cardio three times out of the week for 30 to 45 minutes. Exercises such as running, biking, swimming, walking for long distances, and rowing.
Try to consume only what your body needs for energy, but do not over do it. When you eat more calories than your body needs, it tends to create in you a caloric surplus. Yes, it is true that if you are lifting heavy weights and eating high amounts of calories, you can build muscle and gain fat at the same time, but at the same time you are also increasing your chances of developing stretch marks. So, keep your calories to the point where you only take in what you need to stop yourself from building stretch marks.
Have your skin exfoliated. What is this? Exfoliation is a process which is done by running a soft bristled body brush over your skin. It helps remove the dead skin cells and it stimulates circulation. To do so the correct way, exfoliate your skin while you are in the shower. The water helps smooth out your skin and makes it easier for the dry skin cells to come off. Make sure to start from the areas that are further away from your heart and work toward it.
While doing so, perform circular and upward motions. Do not forget to apply a moisturizer such as coconut butter, vitamin E oil, or lotion when you are done taking a shower. This will help keep your skin supple and can add further protection from stretch marks.
If you already have stretch marks from lifting heavy and not being careful to avoid them, you can still do something to make them less noticeable. Run to a pharmacy and stack up on some bottles of vitamin E gel capsules. Every morning after taking a shower, pop a capsule and rub it on your stretch marks. Do it also every night before going to sleep. The vitamin E will help clear out the stretch marks by applying it directly over your skin and therefore making them less noticeable.
I once made the same mistake and was careless to avoid getting stretch marks, but only because I had no idea they existed, but using the vitamin E capsules, it helped me out by clearing them up some.
Now I walk through friends and others with feeling ashamed of my arms or lower back, which along with inner thighs, the fold between your forearm and bicep, underneath your arm-pit, below your buttocks, are the common areas where they form. Take the tip passed on and do the same if you are having the same problem.