Written by Dr. Mani Kukreja
Founder of Livagewell, an integrative health and wellness coaching practice
How does exercise help your skin? Healthy, gorgeous skin starts from the inside-out with good nutrition and optimal sleep, but did you know that there is a surprising connection between working out and glowing skin?
Not only does exercise improve your fitness and well-being, it also has numerous benefits that helps keep your skin clear and firm. It is one of the most important lifestyle changes to make when looking to improve the appearance of your skin.
We spoke to Dr. Mani Kukreja, founder of Livagewell, an integrative health and wellness practice that offers clients with support and tools to improve immune, gut, and metabolic health, while achieving healthy longevity.
She says, “I suppose there’s a reason why the word ‘beauty’ connotes strength, vitality and resilience and that we often refer to beauty as something that comes from the inside. Strength from your musculoskeletal structure, vitality in your energy levels, and resilience from reduced stress all lead to firmer and more beautiful skin.”
When we exercise, our body temperature rises and our blood flow increases to effect the transfer of metabolic heat from your core to the skin. Intensity, posture, and duration of exercise are key factors in achieving aerobic fitness at any age. It is also a powerful way to improve your metabolic health and vitality as it has proven to be useful for improving glucose levels in type-2 diabetes.
Dr. Kukreja adds, “Mechanical tissue loading via exercise improves and regulates bone generation and collagen levels while lack of it through inactivity will result in a dramatic loss to a great degree (30-40%) that mimics that of contracting skeletal muscles. It’s natural to see that with weakening bones and muscles, and the skin will start sagging as well. It’s important to focus on bone, joint, and muscle health for healthy aging and great skin.”
If you need more convincing, here are six ways in which your skin improves through your workout:
Exercise naturally boosts collagen synthesis and can help reduce signs of aging, like wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. Supplementing with collagen peptides and amino acids can also further boost natural collagen production and helps keep your skin looking smoother and more youthful.
An interesting study from the UK found that aerobic fitness can even help improve the quality of the tone and texture of your skin by boosting circulation and delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells.
Exercise can help keep your skin hydrated, which is an important factor for skin to look supple and improve its ability to retain moisture. As per a study by Japanese scientists, regular exercise can prevent dry skin.
Exercise isn't just good for your physical well-being, it’s also great for your mental health. Stress causes inflammation and it’s no surprise that it can cause skin to flare up. Working out releases endorphins to help reduce stress and boost happiness. It can also improve sleep quality, which is key in repairing and protecting your skin.
Exercise can help boost your body's immunity by way of reducing inflammation, which is a powerful tool to help safeguard your skin from infection and disease.
So where do you get started? Here are the best exercise routines that Dr. Kukreja suggests for skin health and beauty:
On top of exercise, it's so essential to consume a balanced, nourishing diet for optimal skin health and beauty. If you are looking to get your skin in shape naturally, stepping up your fitness routine is a tried-and-tested method. Dr Kukreja reminds us that “nutrition is just as important as regular exercise to help you unveil a radiant glow and achieve a healthy and beautiful complexion.”
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