Working out can improve your mood, keep your heart healthy, control your weight, and even increase the rate of wound healing.
Many people can find sticking to a regular exercise regimen difficult, especially if they are suffering from a wound. Blisters, sunburns, and other skin injuries can be yet another reason for you to skip the gym. However, studies show that a quick sweat session may be just what your wounds need to heal. Along with improving your mood, keeping your heart healthy and controlling your weight, working out can increase the rate of wound healing.
Training for wound care
Hitting the gym or heading out for a jog might be the last thing you want to do when suffering from a skin injury, but it could be just what the doctor ordered. An article from the Journal of Gerontology reported on the positive impact of exercise on the wound healing of older adults. The study, which monitored the wound healing stages of 28 healthy adults over the course of three months, found that recuperation progressed at an increased rate in participants who were placed on a regular exercise program. Speeding up the rate of reepithelialization is an important factor in preventing possible infections
Working out has been proven to improve wound recovery, but how does it do so? A report from the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology cited the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise as a benefit in wound repair. The study tested the impact of working out on the anti-inflammatory immune response of patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. The reduced inflammation, combined with an increase in blood flow to affected areas, may lead to the faster recovery of wounds.
Many people assume that the sweat produced through exercise could be a negative irritant that leads to wound infection. However, the opposite may be true. The American Journal of Pathology reports that eccrine sweat glands play a key role in the skin’s ability to repair wounds. The report found that sweating produces an acid mantle that functions to protect wounds by regulating new skin growth and preventing infections. This being said, there are certain precautions wound patients must take to ensure that exercise is helpful — not hurtful — to their recovery.
Preventing further injury
While sweating can assist in the reepithelialization of wounded skin, it is the activation of sweat glands rather than the sweat itself that is helpful. Therefore, appropriate bandaging of wounds is still vital to recovery when training. Proper wound dressing also decreases the likeliness of wound irritation by clothing or chaffing that could be experienced while exercising.
It is also crucial to discuss an appropriate exercise plan with your doctor. If you are recovering from surgery, there may be a designated amount of time that you must wait before putting pressure on your wounds. Once given the go-ahead, it is best to stick to low-impact cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, cycling or brisk walking. The important thing is to elevate your heart rate and get yourself sweating.
Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.