You want to look and feel your best at any age. But problems can strike even youthful skin. Scientists have yet to discover a foolproof formula for healthier skin. However, the answer may have existed as long as humankind. Exercise can give you a natural glow right after you sweat it up — but the effects last and last.
How Exercise Improves Your SkinExercise increases your blood flow. Your blood carries oxygen and other vital nutrients to all working cells of your body, including those that make up your epidermis. Anything that promotes circulation will give you a signature rosy glow.
However, the benefits don't stop when you step off the treadmill. Exercise increases the strength and pliability of your blood vessels. This means they dilate more easily, improving circulation even when you're at rest.
Some natural health experts claim that working out detoxifies your skin by purging it of toxins. This isn't precisely true. Your liver is the organ responsible for eliminating harmful substances like alcohol and pollutants from your body. However, exercise does help purge cellular debris more quickly. Think of sweating it up like exfoliating your skin from the inside out.
If you have acne, stress increases the production of sebum, the oily substance produced by hair follicles. Excess sebum production coupled with clogged pores leads to pimples, even cysts in severe cases. Are you prone to dry, ageing skin? Prolonged anxiety leads to you contract the muscles of your face, leading to wrinkles. Stress can also lead you to overindulge in alcohol, which dehydrates skin and leaves it looking dry and ashy.
Exercise provides natural stress relief. Going for a run or lifting weights release endorphins, natural body chemicals that relax you. Mitigating the level of anxiety in your life can take years off your face — or at least clear up that bumper crop of chin zits.
Suggested Exercises to Improve Skin HealthNearly any form of exercise that increases blood flow will benefit your skin. However, even the best regimen only works if you adhere to it. Find something that you love so that you're sure to stick to it — but keep your specific skin conditions in mind.
For example, if you suffer from gout or an inflammatory condition, you may find moving about on land difficult. Any degree of impact can stress sore, swollen joints. Give aquatic exercise a go. Water compresses and massages the skin, reducing oedema, or swelling. It also supports the majority of your body weight, making movement easier. You can swim or even walk in the pool — doing so adds resistance, giving you strength-training benefits, too.
Getting out in natural sunlight can benefit people with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Consider taking up walking or jogging. Ride your bike to the convenience store instead of driving. You'll get your heart pumping and you'll benefit the planet as a bonus.
Are you a social butterfly? Sign up with a gym that offers a variety of group fitness classes. You'll learn new techniques every time you take a class from a new instructor. You'll meet new friends and reap the benefits of cross-training — working different muscle groups improves overall fitness and maximizes your caloric burn.
If you're the introspective type, give various forms of yoga a try. Bikram yoga may benefit your skin in two ways. You perform a specific series of poses, or asanas, in a warm classroom. The combination of movement and heat opens your pores, letting you sweat out inflammatory bacteria.
Additional Healthy Skin Care TipsTo maximize the benefits exercise provides your skin, you need to practice better self-care overall. Follow a solid skin-care regimen to keep your glow longer.
- Rinse after sweating: Yes, sweat cools you when it dries on your skin. However, you don't want to leave it on your face. It can dry out cells, leaving them to flake and clog pores. Wash your face with a mild cleanser after working out. If your skin is particularly dry, use a moisturizing toner like rose water.
- Stay hydrated: You can't look your glowing best if you're dehydrated. And sweating takes the moisture out of you. Carry a water bottle and sip regularly.
- Avoid toxins as much as possible: If you drink, have no more than one alcoholic beverage daily. Don't smoke and try to avoid heavily polluted areas.