Physical activity is indisputably known to bring many benefits to the body. This is why most of us follow a workout regimen to stay fit and healthy. However, have you ever wondered about the importance of exercise beyond maintaining weight, stronger muscles, healthier organs, and mental wellness? The fact is that regular exercise can play a significant role in helping to achieve and maintain a glowing, supple, and smooth complexion.
The hunt for radiant, even-toned, and blemish-free skin involves a lot more than following a skincare routine. Although a consistent and appropriate skincare routine is crucial for the health and appearance of the skin, exercise can yield several benefits that can help reduce and prevent skin issues. You can take your skincare game to the next level by spending a few minutes working out every day.
Stay tuned to learn how your workout routine can work in favor of your complexion!
Promotes Microcirculation - One of the most vital functions of exercising is a better supply of blood to the skin. During exercise, the heart rate increases. It means that the heart pumps more blood to all the organs of the body. This increased blood flow can help improve circulation throughout the body, including the skin. This can help your cells get more nutrients and what they need while assisting cells in getting rid of toxins and waste.
Improves Oxygen to the Skin - Exercise amps up blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin, which can help nourish skin cells and promote a healthy and glowing complexion. In addition, exercise promotes vasodilation, encouraging higher delivery of oxygen-packed blood to the skin.¹ Exercise can cause the blood vessels to widen, which is known as vasodilation. This allows more blood to flow through the vessels, improving circulation and providing more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues.
Boosts Collagen Level - Collagen is a protein in the body that gives skin its structure and elasticity and plays a key role in maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin.² Exercise can stimulate collagen production, which can help in minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Regular exercise can help boost collagen production in several ways, such as improved microcirculation can trigger a faster supply of blood to the skin, which supports collagen synthesis.
Exercise also aids in bringing hormonal changes that can keep the skin supple. Exercise can potentially facilitate the production of growth hormone, which helps stimulate collagen production. Additionally, estrogen levels in women can affect collagen production, and regular exercise can help regulate estrogen levels.
Reduces Inflammation - As mentioned above, exercise can help eliminate toxic wastes from the cells that can otherwise lead to inflammation. This can specifically benefit those struggling with inflammatory skin conditions, including acne.
In addition, sweating during exercise can help remove toxins and impurities from the skin, which can aid in preventing clogged pores and other skin issues. Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, which decrease stress and inflammation in the body. The natural anti-inflammatory action of exercise is another reason to get moving every day.
Combats Oxidative Stress - Oxidative stress is one of the top reasons that can damage collagen molecules in the skin and lead to skin woes, particularly signs of aging. Exercise can help reduce oxidative stress in the body, which can help protect collagen and promote healthy skin.
In addition, a regular workout can assist in maintaining an optimal level of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids, and minerals required for nourishing the skin and producing collagen, maintaining youthful skin. Therefore, exercise can help keep the skin protected against fine lines, inflammation, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
Improves Stress - Exercise can help reduce stress levels, which can significantly contribute to skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Hence, exercise can effectively decrease the risk of these skin problems. Exercise can release endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the body that can help improve mood and reduce stress levels.³
Endorphins can also positively affect the skin, helping to promote healthy skin cell function. Regular physical activity also reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol, a stress hormone, can have a negative impact on the skin, leading to issues like acne and other skin problems. Regular exercise can help reduce cortisol levels, improving skin health and reducing the risk of skin problems. Furthermore, exercise can be a helpful distraction from daily stressors, giving the mind a break and allowing the body to relax.
Enhances Detoxification - Besides supplying more oxygen-filled blood and vital nutrients to the body, exercise can also assist in removing waste compounds from the body through lymphatic drainage. Exercise helps to improve lymphatic circulation, which is essential for immune system function and removing waste products from the body.
Slowed or obstructed removal of waste materials from the cells can pave the way to certain skin conditions, such as eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and puffiness. Conversely, quick and unobstructed removal of toxic wastes and excess fluid promotes healthier skin functioning.
Improved Sleep - We all know the value of sound sleep in achieving a smooth, firm, and radiant complexion. Regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, which is vital for overall health and well-being, as well as maintaining a healthy complexion.
Our body’s natural healing abilities speed up as we sleep, and the body repairs and regenerates skin cells faster. In addition, our bodies produce growth hormones during sleep, which are essential for collagen production and skin cell regeneration. So, getting enough rest at night is crucial for various functions quintessential for healthy, glowing, and plump skin.
Prevents Acne - The cause behind the occurrence of acne breakouts is an over-production of oil by the sebaceous glands that tends to accumulate on the skin, clogging the pores. Sebum production is a regular function of the body, and the oil glands regularly release sebum into the pores. However, certain hormones (like cortisol and testosterone) can trigger excessive sebum production by the sebaceous glands, leading to more chances of acne breakouts.
Exercising can help restore hormonal balance in the body, reducing the over-production of sebum that blocks the pores and leads to acne. In addition, sweating during exercise can also aid in clearing out the pores by removing dirt, dead skin cells, oil, and other impurities.
The Post-Workout Glow - Last but not least, the post-workout glow is a real thing that gives you yet another reason to indulge in a regular workout. The radiant and healthy complexion after exercise results from a faster supply of blood carrying higher amounts of nutrients and oxygen, as mentioned earlier. Although this instant glow after exercising is temporary and lasts up to a few hours, you can achieve lasting glow and suppleness by following a regular workout routine.Best Exercises for Healthier Skin
Now that you’re familiar with the amazing benefits of regular exercising for the appearance and health of the skin, let’s find out the best exercises to achieve the skin of your dreams. Several types of workouts can promote healthier skin:
- Cardiovascular exercise - Activities like running, cycling, or swimming can improve blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells. This can help promote healthy skin cell function and support cell growth.
- Strength training - Resistance training exercises like weightlifting can help build muscle and improve skin elasticity. This can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Yoga - Yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can positively impact skin health. Additionally, certain yoga poses like inversions can improve blood flow to the face, promoting healthy skin.
- Pilates - Pilates exercises can help improve posture and alignment, reducing muscle tension and improving circulation. This can support healthy skin function and improve overall skin health.
- HIIT - High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help boost metabolism and promote healthy weight management. This can help reduce the risk of skin conditions like acne and support healthy skin function.
The incredible health benefits of physical activity are enough to keep anyone hooked to a regular workout routine. However, the scope of your regular exercising regimen goes beyond physical health and fitness. Exercise can encourage various processes inside the body, leading to some amazing skin benefits.
You’d be amazed at how exercise can help your skin look and feel better. Some of the notable benefits of exercise for the skin include a better supply of oxygen-rich blood, higher production of collagen, improved sleep, younger-looking skin, and decreased stress level.
- Cleveland Clinic. (2022). ‘Vasodilation’, Cleveland Clinic, Accessed March 10, 2023. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/23352-vasodilation
- S. Brooklyn. (2022). ‘How to Increase Collagen Production’, Sundree, Accessed March 10, 2023. Available at: https://sundree.com/blogs/news/how-to-increase-collagen-production
- Berry, Jennifer. (2023). ‘What to know about endorphins’, Medical News Today, Accessed March 11, 2023. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320839