The Benefits of Exercise on Skin

Health     Exercise     Skin     Wellness

Exercise is an activity that most people know they should be doing but find several excuses to get out of it. An activity that causes sweating and increases blood flow, exercise has several benefits that not only affect the musculature of the body but aspects of life like mental health. And while cardiovascular benefits are always welcome, when it comes to the body, any activity that stimulates blood flow can also have great benefits on the skin.

In this article, you’ll learn about exercise and how various activities can result in better skin tone and quality.

Woman doing yoga with her dog

Benefits of exercise

Every time a person exercises, those efforts have an effect that trickles down to various aspects of the human body. Although many view exercise as a way to gain muscle, lose weight or reduce the risk of contracting diseases like diabetes and heart disease, there are several other benefits that are never considered but equally as important. Regular exercise unlocks a plethora of benefits that culminate in better looking and feeling skin.

The importance of exercise on Mental Health

The brain is a complex organ that is responsible for language learning, facial recognition, memory recall, and several other functions. Being so complex, it should come as no surprise that it needs upkeep to stay fresh and engaged. While doing activities like learning a new language and solving complex puzzles help to keep brain function strong, exercise is something else that should be considered.

Mental health is a subject that has become more freely spoken about in the past few years. With several stressors in life like family, work, and money, these factors can directly affect a person’s ability to stay positive.

When a person exercises, a chemical called endorphins is released. Endorphins are neurochemicals originating from the pituitary gland in response to triggers like stress or anxiety. Once released they interact with opiate receptors like dopamine. This interaction results in minimization of pain.

Exercise also helps a person focus their attention on a goal that is purely for themselves. When you’re constantly having to juggle a million things, having one aspect of your day where you can break a sweat and concentrate fully on yourself changes the dynamic.

Finding an activity you enjoy doing will only help make exercise more enjoyable while also improving your overall health. If you’re someone that likes aerobic exercise, try swimming at a local pool or one located in your apartment complex. With its low impact on joints, swimming is a great option for those who suffer from bone diseases or body discomfort.

How does exercise increase your confidence?

Another aspect of exercise that is not spoken about is its effects on a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Whether in kindergarten or at your job, one thing that remains constant is that goals are something that drives us. When you get an A on a test or finish an assignment, that sense of accomplishment increases your confidence. This same principle can be applied to exercising.

When you exercise, you go into the gym or the running trail with a goal to accomplish. That could be to lift heavier weights or run an extra mile. As your workout finishes, you cross out a goal.

If you’re exercising specifically to undergo a body transformation, as your size waist decreases, you’ll build confidence. It also acts as a motivation to continue on your journey of self-improvement.

Does exercise help you sleep better?

For those who want better sleep, exercise may be the natural cure. Studied frequently, there are several results indicating that exercise does have a positive effect on better and prolonged sleep. Exercising throughout the day not only helps blood circulation but also reduces stress hormones. Reduced stress is a key component of better sleep. Many people spend all night twisting and turning because they have so many thoughts running through their heads. Exercise helps to tire out your body and mind.

Making sure to not exercise right before going to bed is key. Because your body is stimulated during and a little after exercising, it will take a long time to fall asleep.

Better sleep has also been tied to weight loss because the body is able to get enough rest and make its way through a full sleep cycle.

man exercising

Is exercise good for your skin?

Because exercise requires sweating, many people have the perception that it may not be the best for your skin. Exercise increases the blood flow around the body keeping skin cells nourished.

Which exercise is best for skin?

The answer to this question depends on the person. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts to stimulation in interesting and random ways. The most important thing is to get out there and exercise. But to get off on the right foot, there are certain types of exercise that are considered better for skin.  

Dance exercises like Zumba are a great way to get the blood pumping while also learning something new. Based on an African dance, Zumba is a high aerobic exercise that engages all areas of the body.

A classic method, running can be done around your neighborhood, on a treadmill, or at the beach. Needing nothing more than comfortable shoes, running builds up the heart rate and helps in flushing out chemicals like phthalates.

For those of you who enjoy cardio exercises like running, make sure to put on sunscreen with a SPF 30 or more. Sunscreen helps protect the skin from free radicals, which are one of the major culprits that cause acne, dark spots, rosacea, and flare-ups of psoriasis and eczema.  

Other exercises to consider are yoga, swimming, pilates, resistance training, and weight lifting.

Is sweating good for skin?

A natural effect of exercise is sweating. A bodily secretion, sweat is essential to your body’s ability to regulate core temperature and expel the skin of harmful chemicals. While the aisles at your local beauty store may state that sweat is bad for skin, that is not entirely true.

Sweat is good for the skin for this reason: water hydrates while salt and minerals naturally exfoliate surfaces. Internally, sweat is the vessel used to flush out bacteria, dirt, and other impurities. This can help evade breakouts and blemishes.  

When it comes to sweat, there are certain rules to follow in order to ensure that you only gain benefits. The two most important of these are to keep hydrated during your workouts and to take a shower shortly after exercising.

woman smiling after a workout

What can you do to get that ‘post-workout glow’?

After working out, it’s important to make sure that you clean up after yourself. Although sweat has amazing benefits, if it sits on the body for too long, it can cause a build-up of impurities. These impurities can result in acne and other unwanted consequences. Taking a shower immediately after a workout is a great way to fully cleanse the surface of your skin and prohibit the reabsorption of sweat. Using a gentle cleanser can help improve skin health. Consult a dermatologist before trying any new skincare products.

Something else that has a major impact on your post-workout glow is what you do during the workout itself. Making sure to stay hydrated during your workout will also prevent skin irritation. Water adds minerals, acids, and proteins to sweat which in turn reduces the skin’s pH imbalance.

group of women doing yoga

Exercise is always beneficial

Although it may not always be on the top of a person’s list of priorities, exercise is something that helps you look and feel good. Physical activity also has several benefits that trickle down to the skin. From mental health to better sleep, all of these factors have a direct impact on your skin.