It’s no surprise people want to feel better in their life, and various reasons are given for why they begin a fitness routine. What some people may not realize, is that beyond improved health and weight loss, there's also the effect that fitness has on improving the skin or complexion.
Has anyone ever mentioned you looked like you were glowing after a workout? Aerobic exercise provides your body with an influx of oxygenated blood; since the skin is filled with blood vessels close to the surface, the vessels dilate giving off a healthy appearance. During this time, collagen is produced by the body as well, which helps skin be firm and have the elasticity to it. Exercise will also open up the pores of your skin, helping your body get rid of oils and impurities, contributing to the glowing skin. While there's no actual detox like some claim, because that’s the liver’s job, it allows the cells in the skin to have a chance to flush away cellular debris like free radicals. These are waste products that often builds up in the blood and on the surface of the skin.
When you exercise, the body experiences a decrease in stress and an increase in the production of endorphins. The combination of diminished stress levels and increased endorphins equals less cortisol that the body is creating. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and some studies have shown it can influence the sebaceous glands, in turn affecting the production of the oily substance sebum in the skin. The oiliness and hormonal imbalance can aggravate acne's redness and inflammation, but exercise can reduce these effects and regulate hormones. Some studies have also found a correlation between exercise and an increase in the quality and duration of sleep. Getting quality sleep will boost immune function, control stress and anxiety, and contribute to hormonal balance.
Making sure you take care of your skin pre and post workout is extremely important. For all the positives exercise can offer, if you’re not careful, an exercise and fitness routine might exacerbate the issue of acne and other skin issues. Good hygiene is needed to avoid the negatives. Before working out, make sure your skin is clean, and keep gentle, fragrance-free cleansing wipes in your gym bag to clean your face after a workout. Exercise machines can contain bacteria, leading to clogged pores if transferred to your face.
Wipe down the exercise equipment before use, to ensure that you’re eliminating some of that bacteria. Also, try not to touch your face during a workout, but instead use a towel to wipe away sweat. It's best if you can wear no makeup during your exercise routine as it can prevent those opened pores from doing their job by blocking them, and in return make acne worse. Also try to wear loose clothing that allows your skin to breathe and wicks away moisture. This allows the skin not to be exposed to sweat laden clothing and have the sweat absorbed from the clothes into the skin.
Diets are inevitable with an exercise routine. Remember, eating the right or wrong foods will affect your skin. Be on the lookout for foods which quickly raise your blood sugar. A rise in blood sugar increases production of insulin and triggers changes in your body. Those changes lead to the growth of cells which block pores. Don't forget to wash your face after exercising, using a cleanser based on skin type, or labelled as anti-breakout. Keeping the skin hydrated is important to its well-being. In addition to drinking all the water you desire, you can keep your skin hydrated with a skin moisturizer. If you choose to exercise outside, the most important item needed is sunscreen, and it should be 30SPF or higher. Better health and fitness can go hand in hand to improve your skin, and your overall quality of life. Love the skin you’re in.
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