Give your body a workout to keep your skin youthful? Yes, really.
Procedures may seem the easy route to take. But whilst they may nip, tuck, tighten, plump, smooth, freeze or scrub, to give an improved appearance, dermatologists will assure you they actually do nothing to improve the health of your skin itself – but you can with a little sweat and burn.
Exercise keeps your heart, lungs and other organs of your body strong, healthy and full of vitality. So, it makes sense that the largest organ in your body, your skin, would also reap the rewards of regular workouts.
Vigorous exercise increases your heart rate and gets your blood flowing. This means there is a more efficient delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your skin, as well as your working muscles.
According to professor and dermatologist Stephen Shumack, optimum blood flow assists your cells in their repair and reproduction and healthy cell turnover keeps your body healthy and skin younger looking.
Exfoliation is simply the removal dead skin cells from the surface. Keeping fit means more new cells underneath are ready to replace them.
Dermatologist David Bank goes a step further suggesting that exercise stimulates the production of collagen and growth hormone both of which decline with age and are vital in the battle against wrinkles and aging.
Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenocorticotropic cause blood vessels to constrict, making stress equally as detrimental to your skin as it is to your general wellbeing. “A dose of exercise not only makes you feel happier and less anxious, but can also protect you from ageing, especially in your face”, claims David Bank.
Even forgetting body chemistry, the reality is exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight. A stable body weight, as opposed to yo-yoing weight gain and loss prevents your skin stretching, keeping it taught and terrific longer.
Where skin is a little loose it is better to pick up some weights and fill it out with muscle, rather than pick up a donut and fill it out with fat. Get your sweat on with a cardio or circuit workout to remove lots of toxins from your skin and create your healthy glow – just remember to properly cleanse your face when you finish so you don’t get bacterial build up.
Of course, says Stephen Shumack, if you work out outdoors always remember to slip, slop, slap. You don’t want to undo the benefits of your youthful skin enhancing session with a nasty dose of sunburn.
By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub
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