You already know that exercise is good for your body, your heart and your mood but what you may not realize is that exercise can do wonders for your skin too?
Well a little sweat equity goes a long way. You see, when you work out you sweat and you improve your blood flow and those two factors are extremely beneficial to your skin. We’ve all heard of how detoxification is one of the keys to healthy, youthful skin well skin itself is the largest detoxification organ you have. Sweating therefore helps to rid your body of nasty toxin buildup. Improved blood flow, feeds your skin oxygen and nutrients that are essential for a healthy complexion.
Resistance is not futile
Hard to believe that a push-up can lead to a clearer complexion? Well, it’s true. Resistance training which includes push-ups, planks, lifting weights, etc. increases muscle mass. This muscle mass helps our skin to regain that taut, youthful look. Without some type of resistance building, our skin inevitably loses its youthful state.
Other types of good-for-the skin resistance exercises such as squats and lunges are also great. In fact, any exercise that involves using your own body to push against your muscles is very good. Doing such exercises will tone your muscles and skin as well as help to eliminate cellulite.
While resistance training should be balanced with some form of cardio training, be careful not to work out excessively on the cardio front. Too much cardio can lead to an increased loss of elasticity. This can lead to sagging skin and is even more apparent if you are underweight or overweight. Long-distance running, for example, produces massive amounts of the inflammation-inducing stress hormone cortisol. Excessive cortisol leads to a loss in collagen which often results in wrinkling and sagging skin.
When we are young, our skin retains water more naturally. As we age, the skin’s capacity to retain water greatly diminishes and therefore is much more prone to dehydration. Drinking water is important and becomes absolutely essential if you exercise. Not only will you train more efficiently, your skin will lap it up too. Training without adequate hydration will result in damaged skin so keep that water handy throughout the day.
There are varying schools of thought on how much water one should intake per day. There are so many variables depending on how much we weigh, where we live and how much exercise we do. A good rule of thumb though is to drink between half an ounce and an ounce each day for each pound you weigh. So if you weigh 140 lbs you should aim to drink between 70 and 140 ounces per day.
More on exercise and skin
If you suffer with such skin conditions such as acne and eczema, exercise holds an added bonus for you. Studies have shown that exercise is key to reducing stress levels and stress is one of the triggers to those skin conditions.
Just keep in mind, if you exercise outdoors, it’s imperative that you protect your skin from sun exposure by applying sunscreen. Some people avoid wearing any as sweating can cause sunscreen to get into the eyes and sting. There are pH-balanced sunscreens available now that are much less problematic. If your skin is oily or prone to acne, you can opt for a gel or oil-free sunscreen.
Skin is one of your most valuable assets so show it some love and it will show you some back.