Exercise helps the insides of your actual cells, including your skin cells, appear younger. Picture: Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio
Exercise helps the insides of your actual cells, including your skin cells, appear younger. Picture: Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

Exercise and your skin: what you need to know

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Jun 24, 2021

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Exercise has been shown to ease stress and have health benefits. But one benefit of exercise that people may not know is that regular exercise is one of the keys to healthy skin.

According to Dr Amy McClung of US Dermatology Partners Brodie Lane in Austin, Texas: “Many people think that exercising has a negative effect on their skin.

Teens with acne, especially, worry about this. However, with proper care, exercising isn’t bad for your skin at all, in fact, it can be good for your skin health.

During annual skin exams with a dermatologist, patients should ask for personalised skincare recommendations to ensure health while exercising.”

So, in case you need another reason to get up and get moving, here are a few ways exercise can help your skin, from Herbalife Nutrition. It can:

Trick your cells into acting younger

Exercise helps the insides of your cells, including your skin cells, appear younger.

A study found that some structures inside the cells of highly active people seem younger than those of people who aren’t as active.

As a result, your skin cells may appear to be nine years younger at a microscopic level.

Reduce the risk of premature ageing

Exercising assists in controlling and managing blood sugar and oxidative stress.

It also reduces the production of something called “advanced glycation end products” that can age skin.

Studies have even found that people over the age of 40 who lead active lifestyles had thicker dermis layers in their skin, comparable to the layers of people who were between the ages of 20 and 30.

A thicker dermis is a good thing, as it results in fewer and less pronounced superficial wrinkles.

Reduce inflammation

Research shows that exercise – in any shape and form – assists in neutralising whole-body inflammation by releasing anti-inflammatory proteins while also reducing stress hormones.

Stress and inflammation can trigger eczema and aggravate acne, and regular exercise can assist in reducing the symptoms of both.

Support cell development

The increased blood flow that comes with exercising is beneficial not only to your physical health but to the appearance of your skin.

The improved circulation assists in transporting oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells, contributing to healthy, glowing skin. Better blood flow also means toxins are removed from your blood more quickly at the same time.

Don’t forget the benefits of a good skincare routine

Of course, when it comes to healthy skin, it’s about what happens on the inside as well as what happens on the outside.

This includes following a healthy diet, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and establishing a good skincare routine.

Following a skincare routine might be even more important if you’re exercising regularly.

You should always cleanse your skin after a workout to prevent a build-up of sweat, which can result in breakouts and blemishes.

Try a refreshing, soothing cleanser with aloe vera to keep skin clean the gentle way.

Pairing it with a hydrating moisturiser will take the benefits of aloe vera-based skincare products to the next level and help replenish your skin, keeping it hydrated and happy.

If you have to work out during peak sun time, however, wear sunscreen.

Also, If you have dermatological conditions such as acne, rosacea or psoriasis, you may need to take special care to keep your skin protected while exercising.

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