Summer is now in full swing, and many of us are taking to the outdoors to enjoy the weather. It’s also a great opportunity to get your exercise on. We’re going to tell you about some of the exciting ways in which exercise can make your skin glow.
Whether you’re heading off to a beach for a jog or going for a hike at the local trail, there’s no time better than summer to get your sweat going. Summertime opens up many fun and enjoyable activities to boost your heart rate and add a glow to your skin.
General Benefits of Exercise
There are only 100 million articles on the internet explaining why exercise is generally helpful if that was news to you. We’ve also contributed to this noble task of promoting exercise here and there. In case you want a small boost of motivation, exercise:
- Elevates your mood
- It helps you sleep better
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Helps with weight loss
- Reduces the risk of various chronic illnesses
- Increases bone density and strength
- Improves posture, reducing the chance of injury
- Reduces pain
Skin Specific Benefits
Besides just being an integral part of your overall lifestyle, have you noticed that fit people have a natural glow on their skin? It’s no coincidence! Exercise has many benefits specifically for the skin and plays an important role in how your overall appearance.
1 – Exercise increases blood flow
This has a multitude of benefits. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients to the brain, vital organs, and of course, the skin. When blood circulation is reduced, performance decreases, and your whole body suffers.1 Blood circulation is like the batteries that keep your organs going, and considering that your skin is an organ, it makes sense that exercise leads to good-looking skin. This has particular health benefits for middle age or older adults in particular as well.2
2 – Exercise reduces stress
Stress is more than “feel bad.” As we’ve discussed before on Dermletter, stress is a real physiological response that can have various negative effects on your body, and exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Stress also has direct relationships with many skin conditions – it is known to exacerbate eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and a host of other common concerns. As the skin is the first line of the immune response, it makes sense that the skin will frequently manifest the symptoms of stress.
3 – Sweating can help open up and unclog pores
Sweating can seem like a drag – sticky, yucky, smelly sweat. In reality, though, sweat is not only an important function of your skin and will also keep you beautiful as well. Sweat opens up your pores – and it’s a myth that sweat causes acne3 – the opposite is true. Sweat has antimicrobial properties and keeps your skin healthy and your pores clean and fresh. It can also boost endorphins – giving you a boost in how you feel as well. What you do want to do is to shower after a good workout. Sweat that’s left behind on your skin for too long can allow bacteria to proliferate.
4 – Toned muscles can firm up your skin overall
Say goodbye to any sagginess you have under your arms or elsewhere. One of the most underrated ways for women to look better is to hit those weights. Unfortunately, some women are still afraid of the old myth that resistance training will make them look “buff” like a bodybuilder. This won’t happen;4 instead, resistance training helps to tone and firm your body, shed extra pounds of fat, remove skin sag, and will give your skin a healthy glow.
There’s really no excuse not to exercise – and the beauty benefits we listed are only part of the picture. That said, there are still some things to keep in mind to help optimize your exercise:
- If you’re outdoors, remember to slap on your sunscreen.
- Be sensible; leave your makeup off when you exercise.
- Avoid heat exhaustion. A lot of this comes down to planning smart and avoiding the midday heat. Bring water, and dress appropriately for the weather.
- If you have rosacea, exercise can sometimes worsen your symptoms but don’t let this stop you from exercising. A small adjustment like working out in a cooler environment or a swimming pool can help keep things under control.
- Challenge yourself on your next workout – pushing your boundaries is how you develop your endurance, tone your muscles, and become stronger.
- Compliment your workout by eating better afterward, and your skin will really thank you.
1Serious circulatory problems are medical emergencies, obviously, but even a minor reduction in circulation can reduce your overall energy levels and the appearance of your skin.
3Unless you refuse to shower or wash after sweating, of course.
4From a physiological standpoint, testosterone levels are one of the defining biological differences in men and women. It is a biological challenge for women to look “bulky.” To put it into perspective, think about the percentage of men that look like a bodybuilder or even want to. If it were easy to “bulk up,” think of how many more men would look this way. Add how much harder it is for women to “bulk up,” and you can rest assured that you won’t unintentionally look like a bodybuilder.