Exercise has many health benefits and can boost your overall feeling of well being and happiness. Did you know that exercise also has many benefits for the skin? Remarkably, researchers from The McMaster University showed how exercise not only keeps skin look younger, but benefits the in depth skin physiology. The experiment analysed the skin of 29 men and women aged 20 to 84 and found that individuals aged 40+ who were frequent exercisers had skin comparable to those half of their age. Similarly, the skin of individuals aged 65+ who started exercising for 3 months, were able to actively improve the condition of their skin.
Exercise may consist of cardiovascular workouts (where your heart is raised to an optimum rate for your age), strength training (to increase lean muscle mass and raise your metabolism) or body conditioning work outs such as Yoga or Pilates to tone and condition your muscles. All of these exercises offer numerous benefits to the body, and can also benefit the skin. If you are exercising outdoors, remember to wear a broad spectrum SPF sun screen, and in order to maximise skin benefits; avoid wearing makeup while exercising as this can clog pores and lead to acne.
- Increased blood flow to the skin oxygenates skin cells
During cardio, increased blood flow to the skin bathes the skin cells with a rich oxygen and nutrient supply; boosting the complexion and getting rid of a dull, lack lustre complexion. This can assist fibroblasts in working more efficiently; which could boost collagen synthesis. Healthy skin is well has a healthy circulatory supply, giving you a healthy glow.
- Assisting detoxification of waste products
Although your liver is the site of detoxification, exercise boosts blood flow which can help carry away waste products such as free radicals to the liver to be neutralised. Free radicals are implicated in cell damage, and are a major factor in skin ageing. Exercise can also benefit fluid regulation which can benefit those who suffer from puffy, congested skin.
- Improved muscle tone
Exercise improves muscle tone- as we age, muscle mass decreases, and in combination with collagen production decreasing, causes sagging in the face and body. Muscle tone is intrinsic to supporting your skin and boosting your overall appearance and skin appearance.
- Endorphins can make you look better, an regulate stress levels
Endorphins are a powerful natural feel good molecule in the body, and can make you feel happier and healthier. Studies have shown that happier people with high self esteem are perceived as more attractive. Similarly, exercise decreases stress in clinical trials, which can benefit some conditions exasperated by stress such as acne and eczema. Exercise decreases cortisol production and excess cortisol can lead to weight gain which is also a major factor in skin ageing.