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July 28, 2011 6:10 AM   Subscribe

I started running last October and I've lost 30 lbs. Along with this though I've noticed many other body changes. There are two in particular that I am interested in. The veins in my hands and feet are more defined and my elbows are no longer ashy. Is there any kind of relationship between these two changes and my new running lifestyle? Not sure if this makes a difference or not but I've also cut out all fast food, soft drinks, junk food and I'm eating healthy balanced meals now.
posted by Fizz to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

You've lost a lot of fat from places that you'd not expect fat to be, causing your viens to be more visible. Also, a cleaner diet will certainly improve your skin.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 6:15 AM on July 28, 2011

I'm training for a half marathon so I'm running about 30-40 kms a week at the moment. So I know all this intense cardio has made my heart stronger, but I was surprised by how noticable my veins in my hands have become. And the lack of ashy elbows is what confused me the most. I was trying to figure out why they were no longer as ashy as they once were. I guess what you eat makes all the difference.
posted by Fizz at 6:26 AM on July 28, 2011

Yes, the vein issue is much more straight forward, I lose fat in the weirdest places first it seems. I look down and remark at my newly veiny hands.

The skin thing is interesting and I've noticed it too. When I eat clean but don't exercise, my skin is its normal weird self. When I eat clean and exercise my skin is oddly baby soft. I'm not sure if its sweat, increased oil production, or just manual exfolitation from more showers, but my skin is noticiably softer, especially my arms and elbows , than fifty pounds ago.
posted by stormygrey at 6:29 AM on July 28, 2011

I was thinking in the same vein (sorry) about how the elbows thing might relate more to oil production and/or sweat. I'm sure some science type person will come by and explain it.
posted by Fizz at 6:35 AM on July 28, 2011

This article gives some insight on moisture levels of skin, and how diet affects that.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 6:40 AM on July 28, 2011

Chrisfromtheelc - Thanks. That article just reminded me that of the fact that I'm also drinking about a gallon of water a day now, so that has probably helped improve my skin quite a bit as well.
posted by Fizz at 6:58 AM on July 28, 2011

It seems obvious I guess, but it still strikes me how the simple act of running and eating non-fast foods has changed my body this much.
posted by Fizz at 7:01 AM on July 28, 2011

Exercise and vasodilation are linked. Your circulation is improving.

As you exercise, the blood vessels in your muscles dilate and the blood flow is greater, just as more water flows through a fire hose than through a garden hose. Your body has an interesting way of making those vessels expand. As ATP gets used up in working muscle, the muscle produces several metabolic byproducts (such as adenosine, hydrogen ions and carbon dioxide). These byproducts leave the muscle cells and cause the capillaries (small, thin-walled blood vessels) within the muscle to expand or dilate (vasodilation). The increased blood flow delivers more oxygenated blood to the working muscle.

IANAD, but I think the improvement in circulation is letting good stuff get to harder-to-reach areas like your elbows.
posted by Graygorey at 9:18 AM on July 28, 2011

Strenuous exercise and and good hydration explains a lot. The lack of fast foods not so much, but probably isn't a bad thing.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:45 AM on July 28, 2011

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