In general, we exercise to

  • lose or maintain weight
  • build muscle and bone
  • build strength and endurance
  • reduce stress
  • create balance
  • increase flexibility
  • reduce anxiety and depression
  • increase health
  • prevent disease
  • slow aging

Did You Know Exercise Can Also Help Skin Remain Healthy and Prevent Aging?

As we briefly examine how exercise helps overall health, we will understand how it helps skin as well! Regular exercise works at a cellular level to stimulate cell turnover and create healthy cells that reduce disease risk.  It increases sleep duration and quality that further restores cells, and it increases blood flow and oxygen to all cells and organs further increasing health, reducing disease risk and slow aging.  In short, exercise may increase the quality and quantity of life!

Studies have proven the positive effects exercise has on overall health and wellness from your nose to your toes and from the inside out, and this article will focus on exercise and skin health to answer the question posed above.

Just as exercise delivers blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the internal organs, the same is true for the largest, external organ, the skin.  As heart rate elevates during exercise, the skin sweats to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion.  Not only does exercise cool down the skin, it allows toxins to be eliminated via the sweating process and combats free radicals.  Exercise helps maintain the youthful look by working from the inside and using organic skincare products will battle free radicals from the outside. This combination protects the skin both on the inside and outside.  For maximum benefit, in addition to exercise and organic skincare products, drink plenty of water.  Water will not only improve the skin’s elasticity; it will balance electrolytes that help produce collagen.

There is a link between stress and skin as studies show the correlation between excess oil production in the sebaceous glans and stress hormones, and as exercise reduces stress, this can help with skin issues such as acne and eczema.

If exercising outdoors, remember to protect the skin with sunscreen and it is best to avoid peek sun time between 10am and 4pm.  Choose a sunscreen that works with your skin type.  Even though exercise may exacerbate certain skin conditions, such as, rosacea, and psoriasis this is no reason not to exercise, and with the help of a dermatologist there are strategies to prevent flare ups during exercise.

How to Achieve Healthy, Glowing Skin with Exercise!

There is something to be said about that natural glow of healthy skin that seems to captivate all of us when we see it in a magazine or television.  There are many products that help achieve that glow, but did you know that exercise can achieve it naturally? 

  1. One simple exercise is massaging the face to increase circulation and open pores. Use your index fingers to move in a circular motion around the eyes and forehead, cheeks and mouth to firm skin. Moving fingers in an upward direction also adds benefit.  It is recommended to make this part of your daily skin regimen in the morning and at night, and if time allows, feel free to do this up to 10 times a day.

  1. Another way to increase circulation to the skin is via breathing exercises. Not only do they destress you, they rejuvenate your body (including the skin) and mind.  Try controlling your breathing while counting in a seated position.  Breathe in for a count of 4, hold breath for a count 4 and exhale for a count of 4.  Do this for 5 minutes to start and gradually increase to 15 minutes a couple times of per week.
  1. Yoga improves blood circulation and removes toxins creating glowing skin. Particularly beneficial is maintaining an upside - down yoga pose where blood flows toward your face creating flushed skin that radiates.  Examples of yoga poses for skin health include:
    • Forward fold – increases oxygen and blood flow to the face for skin cell renewal and fights free radicals
    • Camel pose – this strong back bend helps reduce acne outbreaks
    • Twisted seated pose – helps remove toxins for healthy skin
    • Supported shoulder stand – promotes blood circulation toward the face to help reduce fine lines and acne
    • Plow pose – calms the brain and helps with sleep and detoxification
    • Corpse pose – challenges the mind to enter a state of relaxation to reduce stress and heal skin
  1. Cardio exercises such as running is one of the best ways to achieve glowing, healthy skin. While running, small arteries open allowing blood to reach the skin’s surface to deliver nutrients that repair damage from the sun and environmental pollutants.

In summary, taking care of your health involves taking care of your skin, the body’s largest organ. Following simple guidelines for exercise not only enhances physical health to protect against disease, it increases the health of the skin to protect it from free radicals, detoxify skin, increase skin elasticity, and deliver oxygen and nutrients for cell renewal to achieve that healthy glow of younger looking skin. 

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