With the winter weather often comes less physical activity, less engagement in outdoor activities, increased stress, and (in case that wasn’t enough) dry or dull-looking skin. There are many ways to improve the look of our skin: regular gentle exfoliation, moisturizer, drinking enough water, sufficient sleep, not smoking, and eating a healthy, balanced diet low in processed foods and refined sugars. But one of the best things you can do for your skin – and for your overall health – is exercise! How does exercise improve skin health?
Exercise Helps Promote Collagen Production
Exercise stimulates the formation of collagen, a protein that comprises most of the connective tissue in tendons, ligaments and bones. Collagen is the fibrous protein that creates dermal structure. In our 30s, this structure begins to break down, causing skin to become thinner and sag.
Exercise Helps Reduce Fine Lines & Wards off Free Radical Damage
Exercise helps manage stress and anxiety, which can trigger free radical damage. Free radicals, or unpaired hydrogen ions, can damage the skin cell membranes, causing collagen breakdown, which in turn leads to wrinkles. Stress is a normal part of life, but how we choose to deal with it can determine the quality of our lives. Yoga and restorative activities, such as hiking, that put us in touch with nature helps us lower our stress hormone levels and allows our endocrine system to function optimally.
Exercise Increases Circulation
When we exercise, our heart rate increases and circulates more oxygen to the skin. Drawing blood to the surface of the body transports nutrients to our skin cells and helps remove toxins from the skin. Any increase to the body’s circulation will boost detoxification and cell renewal – which is good for our skin!
Exercise Helps Prevent Toxin Build-Up
Our skin is more than just a protective covering for the body – it is also an organ of elimination. If our bowel flora are depleted, or our liver is overtaxed, then the primary organs of elimination—the liver, intestines, and kidneys—require help from the skin. The result can be eczema, pimples, rashes, and dull-looking skin. Body toxins are expelled through the sweat glands; therefore, sweating during exercise is a great way to eliminate wastes. While sweat helps remove toxins from our skin cells, it’s important to shower after exercise to remove those toxins from the surface of our skin and avoid reabsorption and clogged pores.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your skin healthy and supple, speak to a Medisys dermatologist or consider adding a kinesiologist-prescribed workout routine to your beauty regimen. If you don’t already have a routine that you enjoy, book an appointmentwith your Medisys kinesiologist.
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