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How Exercise Affects Your Skin

by Emily Linehan on March 31, 2020

Regular exercise is important in order to sustain a healthy, long life. But did you know exercise can also impact your skin in big ways?

ELIMINATES TOXINS

Exercise increases blood flow and stimulates the lymphatic system helping to nourish skin cells and carry away waste products.  If you’re in poor health (or don’t exercise regularly), you have fewer blood vessels in your skin, and it shows. The skin begins to look sallow, dull and even grey. Throughout the day, your skin also accumulates toxins from a number of sources. This includes polluted air, dirty surfaces you come in contact with and even the food you eat. Exercise helps flush bad toxins out of your skin, giving you the sought after healthy glow you’re looking for. Believe it or not, working up a good sweat is similar to getting a mini-facial! Because circulation is increased when sweating due to physical activity, many of the toxins and impurities are expelled from the skin by way of sweat through open skin pores. 

Pro Tip: Be sure to thoroughly wash your face afterward getting your workout in! This prevents debris from getting sucked back into the pores that cause breakouts.

REDUCES SKIN STRESS

Exercise also eases stress that can wreak havoc on your skin. When your body detects stress, it prompts the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, from your adrenal glands. Cortisol triggers glands in your hair follicles to crank up production of sebum. Sebum is a useful oil that normally makes its way up and out of the hair follicle taking dead skin cells. However producing too much of the oil can block up the follicle, leading to a pile-up of dead skin cells behind it. This is followed by inflammation and acne. Lower cortisol levels — thus, lower stress — provides less of a chance for your skin to overload on immune cells. Additionally, you will minimize your chance of acne flare-ups and will have a higher probability of maintaining normal levels of oil production.

TIGHTENS SKIN

Exercising for weight/body fat loss, through weight training and building muscle, can definitely make your skin appear tighter. Crash or extreme diets where large amounts of weight are lost in a short amount of time can cause potentially irreversible loose, sagging skin. Losing body fat slowly and steadily, while incorporating strength-building exercises that increase lean muscle mass, allows you to replace fat volume with muscle volume, creating lifted and tauter looking skin. Building toned, lean muscle under your skin is also one of the best ways to smooth the appearance of cellulite. The more muscular support your skin has, the more firm and elastic it will appear.

Overall, good things come to those who sweat. With that said, sweat away #Emmebabes!!

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