It’s a well-known fact that exercise strengthens the body in many ways. But what you may not know is that exercise also benefits your skin and hair by giving it a healthy boost! Read on to learn some of the surprising benefits of exercise.
How does exercise promote healthy skin?
Have you ever noticed that your skin looks a little flushed after a workout? There’s a reason for that post-workout glow! When your heart rate goes up, your blood vessels expand and pump more blood, which improves nutrient and oxygen delivery. Your blood is responsible for carrying away waste products throughout the body, and the skin is no exception.
Exercise also supports collagen production, which naturally declines as we age. Supporting collagen synthesis can help keep skin firm, elastic and supple.
Does exercise prevent acne?
You’ve probably heard that exercise is great for reducing stress, and it is! Many conditions that are heightened by stress, like acne and eczema, can also be improved through regular exercise. Studies show that stress hormones impact the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing oil in the skin. By reducing stress through activities such as meditation or exercise, symptoms of acne and eczema can improve.
Quick tip: If you have acne-prone skin, remember to remove your makeup before working out. Sweat and oil combined with makeup can potentially lead to clogged pores.
How can exercise prevent hair loss?
Since exercise increases circulation throughout the body, it can also impact hair growth. Similar to its benefits to the skin, exercise helps increase blood flow to the scalp, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to nourish and strengthen hair follicles.
A balanced diet rich in hair-supporting nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, iron and protein, combined with exercise can help support hair growth. A great option for hair growth and nourishment is CanPrev’s Healthy Hair. This formula contains therapeutic amounts of biotin, zinc and vitamin B6.
How does exercise contribute to anti-aging?
Not only does exercise benefit skin and hair, it benefits the heart, muscles and brain. Some of the effects of aging, including increased resting heart rate, blood vessel stiffness and blood pressure, can decrease with regular exercise. In addition, exercise helps offset the decrease of muscle mass and strength, which is a natural side effect of aging.
What are the physical benefits of exercise?
Regular physical activity helps prevent many chronic diseases, such as obesity, cancer and osteoporosis. In fact, exercise is often used to manage chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Aerobic exercises such as cycling and running may reduce the risk of many conditions including heart disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Weight bearing exercises help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and are particularly beneficial for maintaining bone mineral density. This is especially important in postmenopausal women. Both aerobic and resistance training aid in improving blood sugar balance and metabolic health.
Regular exercise offers an array of physical benefits, including:
- Improved sleep
- Stress relief
- Weight reduction
- Cholesterol reduction
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved immune system activity
- Maintained or increased muscular mass
- Strengthened bones and joints
- Increased energy
What are the mental benefits of exercise?
Exercise has been shown to positively impact mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression and negative mood. Aerobic exercises such as cycling, walking, swimming and jogging reduce anxiety and depression by increasing blood circulation to the brain. This influences our stress response through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
Thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise, such as a brisk walk 3 times a week, is enough to provide these health benefits. Finding it tough to carve a full 30 minutes out of your day? Three 10-minute walks will work, too!
After exercising, it’s important to cleanse your skin to remove bacteria and sweat residue. The average person touches their face approximately 2000-3000 times a day. Think of all the bacteria your hands encounter each time you touch any surface before touching your face!
It’s also helpful to cool off your skin with a splash of cold water to reduce the size of large pores. Cold water can be beneficial for dry or acne-prone skin, whereas hot water can dry out the skin and strip it of its natural oils. Hot water opens pores, while cold water closes them. For convenience, throw some cleansing wipes into your gym bag!
Nutrients for healthy skin
Along with exercise, it’s important to support your skin with a balanced diet.
Vitamin A lines the surface of many tissues, such as the skin, respiratory tract and eyes. Vitamin A is essential for a healthy immune system and supports skin cell integrity and function. It also acts as an antioxidant, which is especially beneficial for endurance training.
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that help reduce inflammation and prevent certain chronic diseases by lowering free radicals. EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids are essential for every cell in the body, and help retain skin moisture.
Fibre is essential to keep bowel movements regular, and healthy elimination supports glowing skin from the inside out. Fibre stimulates healthy gut bacteria, which also affects our skin. Foods rich in fibre include beans, potatoes, broccoli, whole grains and nuts.
Amino acids are essential for muscle recovery, and they also make up the content of our skin! There are three important amino acids for healthy collagen synthesis: proline, lysine and glycine. By eating a diet with a variety of protein sources, you can nourish your body with all the required amino acids. You may even add Collagen Beauty into your daily ritual to help reduce wrinkles and increase skin elasticity.
Breaking a sweat has many benefits for your skin and hair. A consistent exercise routine can help delay many signs of aging. If you keep yourself moving, you’ll keep your mind and body feeling its best!
- Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402378/pdf/20060314s00023p801.pdf
- Exercise for Mental Health. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/pdf/i1523-5998-8-2-106a.pdf
- Anti-aging therapy through fitness enhancement. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695180/pdf/cia-0103-213.pdf
- https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/skin-care-for-the gym_l_5cdafd1ae4b061f59bf86916