Your Fitness Plan for Great Skin
I know what some of you are thinking…”What, now you’re telling me that exercise will give me great looking and feeling skin? Sounds like another cheap ploy to get me to exercise!”
But I assure you; exercise can benefit your skin in ways that you may never have thought possible. In fact, regular exercise can:
- Give you smoother, blemish-free skin
- Help prevent and reduce wrinkles
- Eliminate cellulite
- Restore a radiant youthfulness to your skin
When we exercise, we set our bodies in motion, providing resistance training to our muscles, which helps strengthen them. We breathe more deeply, bringing in more oxygen. Our heart rate rises—which is a good thing—because it’s now pumping oxygenated blood throughout our body. Even the tiny capillaries near our skin begin to open up.
This increased blood-flow replenish the nutrients in our skin, helps regulate our hormones, prevents free-radical damage, and promotes the production of collagen—a protein that serves as the building blocks of our skin. Collagen reduces wrinkles, reverses aging of skin, tightens skin, plump up skin and improves its elasticity.
As we continue to exercise, the pores in our skin begin to open up and sweat flushes them of cellular detritus and grime. This action coupled with the continued increase in blood-flow helps detox the skin, removing harmful chemicals and waste. Blackheads and acne disappear.
Our regular exercise routine signals our body to burn fat. As the fat (cellulite) disappears, our skin conforms to the attractive contours of our muscles instead of the shapeless cottage-cheese-like fat deposits.
While we exercise, harmful stress chemicals like cortisol diminish. These stress chemicals exacerbate skin problems like psoriasis and acne, so relief from these not only reduces stress, but also promotes the health of our skin., 
In short, a regular regimen of exercise helps us look and feel better inside and out! This will give your skin a glow you can’t get any other way.
And of course, eating right plays a huge role into our overall health and wellbeing, as well developing a subtle, glowing skin.
Healthy Skin Promoting Exercises
In order to improve the health of our skin through exercise, we’re basically after three things:
- Increased blood-flow and oxygenation
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Working to a sweat
Those three things will help us achieve all the benefits we’re seeking for our skin through exercise. Everybody is different, so you may benefit from the guidance of a personal trainer to address your specific goals. But in general, most trainers will recommend a combination of aerobic and resistance training to achieve these ends and make it much easer to get that healthy skin glow.
Exercising to Eliminate Cellulite
Men and women typically accumulate fat differently. Men usually collect fat in their gut and women on their thighs and buttocks. Unfortunately, those specific fat-collection areas are also the last ones willing to relinquish the fat. The key is strength-training coupled with consistency, perseverance, and the all-important healthy diet!
Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters recommends the following three exercises to women for removing cellulite from the buttocks and thighs: single-leg hip raise, reverse lunge, and step-up. With exercise, cellulite can become notably better within weeks, but may take up to a year to disappear.
To get rid of the belly fat will also take some concentrated effort over time. The big belly didn’t form overnight, so neither should we expect it to disappear overnight.
Also, as with any fat-loss solution, unless we change our eating habits that got us in this shape, we hinder the effects of exercise to do its work. Eat fewer calories (especially carbs) and enjoy only organic whole foods.
Having said that, aerobic exercise combined with bicycles, crunches, and planks can help shed that belly fat and help you achieve a slimmer, trimmer abdomen.
Exercising to Improve Skin Health and Youthfulness
Both aerobic exercise and strength-training exercises that elevate your heart rate, increase blood-flow and bring on a sweat perform the needed functions to give you healthy, glowing skin, slow down the aging process, reduce wrinkles, and eliminate blemishes.
Fitness experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, 5 days per week. Aerobic exercises include activities like: running, jogging, brisk walking, swimming laps, bicycling, rowing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Strength training or resistance training involves any exercise that demands greater than normal output from your muscles. Because the body contains a variety of muscle groups, you’ll want to choose exercises that address those muscle groups that you wish to focus on.
Caring for Your Skin During and After Exercise
While exercise offers so many benefits for great skin health, take the following precautions in order to preserve and protect your skin:
- Try to avoid exercising outside in the heat of the day. If that’s unavoidable, protect your skin with appropriate clothing and sunscreen.
- Stay hydrated throughout and following your workout. Water is essential to healthy skin.
- After working up a sweat, be sure to shower soon after to wash off the dirt and toxins that have surfaced on your skin. Otherwise, they may find their way back into your skin.
- If you live in a dry climate, or are prone to dry skin, you may want to use a skin moisturizer following your shower.
The benefits of exercise for your skin continue for hours after you stop moving as your glowing skin remains. Plus, the relaxed feeling you get makes you look less stressed with less facial tension and fewer frown lines.
5 Tips for Success
Finally, here are 5 tried and true tips that will help you succeed in your exercise program:
- Choose an exercise or activity that you enjoy.
- Purchase proper clothing and equipment to protect your skin and keep you comfortable.
- Engage an exercise partner to help keep you accountable and consistent.
- Combine your exercise plan with a healthy eating plan; otherwise you’ll undermine all your hard work!
- Track your progress. There are all kinds of smart phone apps and gadgets to help you do this electronically.
That glowing complexion you sport after a workout is indicative of health and beauty. Now, let’s go change into our workout clothes and get out there for healthy skin, body and mind!