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We know people go to the gym to work on their stomach, legs, butt, you name it. But have you ever considered on top of getting that six-pack, you are also improving your skin? There are many benefits for your complexion that come from exercising regularly.
Sweat – Most people attribute sweat to acne production. While it does in some cases, it can also help release trapped dirt and oil from the skin. Sweating opens up your pores allowing any undesirable elements to come to the surface. Of course showering right after your workout will not only prevent sweat induced acne but also ensure the dirt and oil are washed away.
Blood Flow – Increased blood flow contributes to the release of toxins from the skin and repairs the damage done to the skin. More importantly, an increase in blood flow delivers a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells. Some of these nutrients are beneficial to collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Cortisol – Exercising helps maintain healthy levels of cortisol. So what is it exactly? According to You and Your Hormones, cortisol does the following:
“…controlling the body’s blood sugar levels and thus regulating metabolism, acting as an anti-inflammatory, influencing memory formation, controlling salt and water balance, influencing blood pressure and helping development of the fetus.”
Too much cortisol causes collagen to break down, and also contributes to the creation of more sebum (oily secretion of the sebaceous glands), which causes acne.
Stress – It’s been stated that working out is a great stress reliever. The increase in endorphins (trigger for positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine), distraction from your life, and better self-esteem all contribute to a stress free feeling. It has been reported that stress increases acne in people who already suffer from acne. The cells that create sebum (the oily secretion we mentioned before) have receptors that detect stress hormones. If you do suffer from acne, be mindful to keep your stress levels low with exercise.
Cellulite – Shedding body fat and building muscle both help in reducing the appearance of cellulite. Each person is different and in some cases exercise may not help with the look of the skin. Remember cellulite is a natural fat that is stored in many women. Exercising only helps, it will not completely get rid of it.