You may have heard this a thousand times, but getting physical and working up a sweat really can help your skin. For those of you like me who love nothing more than snuggling up on the sofa with the remote control, you may not enjoy this article. However, exercise is essential for one’s overall well-being.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, you’d be well aware that exercising for 30 minutes every day is essential for one’s health. As crucial as brushing your teeth, eating a nutritious diet and drinking plenty of water is, but what you mightn’t know is that exercise can have profound effects on the health of your skin.
How Getting Physical Helps
I’m a former gym junkie. I have an addictive personality (chocolate at arms please …), and after joining a gym to perv on muscley men, I found myself going for hours on end. While quitting the intense gym regime was initially fantastic, restoring both my physical and mental health, I noticed that going cold turkey had a tremendous effect on my skin.
What I didn’t know at the time, but have since learned to work at Botani, was that the breakouts I suffered from were the result of my skin not being treated to three essentials it had become accustomed to – circulation, oxygen and sweat.
Getting Physical To Improve Oxygen
Oxygen is essential for the survival of skin cells. Just like us, the skin is an organ that needs oxygen to live and breathe. The top layer of the skin (the epidermis) needs oxygen to maintain the integrity of its current skin cells and to help generate new healthy skin tissue. While we get the oxygen we need through inhaling, our skin gets the oxygen it needs through the process of circulation.
Imagine that our blood cells are running a race throughout our bodies. Our heart is our bodies pump. So starting at your heart they’re fired off through our veins and capillaries to run endless laps around our body. Travelling in a ‘loop’ through the lungs, our blood cells pick up oxygen and carry it to the areas of the body that need it most.
Circulation needs every bit of help we can provide it with (considering the average person contains 5 litres of blood) and the easiest way to assist our bodies is to move! Exercise increases your heart rate, which then increases its pumping ability. When blood flows in a much smoother and swifter fashion, the body gets the oxygen hit it needs much quicker.
Getting Physical And Your Skin
Likening our skin to ourselves again. While we know the importance of inhaling oxygen, we also know the importance of exhaling it. Once our skin has absorbed the nutrients it needs from oxygen for functionality. It similarly ‘exhales’ what it doesn’t need (namely carbon monoxide) through sweating.
Sweating not only rids the body and the skin of impurities, but it’s also beneficial for skin hydration and the prevention of premature ageing. Increased sweating brought on by exercise stimulates the skin’s sebaceous glands which secrete natural oil onto the skin. This oil, when in contact with sweat and moisture found in the air, prevent the skin from dehydrating which is the number one cause of fine lines and wrinkles.
While the information above highlights the importance of circulation, oxygen and sweat for healthy skin, it also highlights the critical role exercise plays in helping our skin reach its full potential. This isn’t to say that everyone needs to start pumping iron or run a marathon. I’m simply saying ‘let’s get physical’ everyone.