Great Skin – – Don’t Forget to Exercise! The Beauty Benefits to Execise!

Working out not only helps your figure, but also improves your complexion!

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It’s hardly news that exercise is great for your heart, lungs, and mental outlook. Here’s another reason to get moving: Regular exercise is one of the keys to healthy skin.  “We tend to focus on the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity, and those are important. But anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, author of Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  When you get your heart pumping from aerobic exercise, you’re supplying your skin with a nice dose of oxygenated blood, says Noëlle S. Sherber, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Baltimore, Maryland. “It gives you that great post-workout glow.”

Yoga is also great for your skin!  All poses that Practitioners of yoga twist, contort and stretch their bodies into poses called asanas while using focused breath patterns to achieve a state of exertion, control, meditation and oneness between mind and body can benefit the skin.

Wrinkle Reduction and Acne Relief

Working out also helps maintain healthy levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, Sherber says. “Elevated cortisol levels are linked to increased sebum production, which means more acne breakouts,” she says. Too much cortisol can also cause the collagen in the skin to break down, Sherber says, which can increase wrinkles and sagging. “Exercise actually supports the production of collagen,” says Amy Dixon, a Los Angeles–based exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer. “The boost in this protein helps to keep your skin firm, supple, and elastic.”

Regular exercise boosts circulation. “It nourishes your skin, bringing more blood flow and oxygen to it,” says Mauro C. Romita, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Ajune Center for Beauty Synergy in New York City. “This will help draw toxins out of the body.” Plus, all that sweating cleans out the pores of congested skin. “Working out corrects the hormonal imbalance that can cause adult acne,” Romita says.

To reap the beneficial skin effects of working out, a few extra steps are required, Sherber warns. “If you’re acne prone, make sure to keep gentle, fragrance-free cleansing wipes in your gym bag.” Be sure to cleanse your face and other areas that tend to break out immediately after exercising, she says. “For eczema, wear fabrics that wick perspiration away from the skin, since the wet-dry-wet-dry cycle will dry out your skin and provoke flare-ups,” Sherber says. And above all, avoid exercising with makeup on your face.

First, let’s talk a little bit about how acne forms. Glands in the follicles of your skin produce sebum, an oil that lubricates your skin. As sebum works its way to the surface, it carries with it dead skin cells. Occasionally, the sebum and skin cell mixture clogs a pore. Then, bacteria shows up, which ultimately leads to inflammation and acne.

What does this have to do with yoga? Well, yoga has been shown time and again to be an effective way of relieving not only stress, but the hormone that goes hand-in-hand with feelings of stress: cortisol

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When you experience stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol. The presence of cortisol then triggers numerous changes throughout your body, one of which is increased production of sebum, which contributes heavily to blockages and acne. Because yoga lowers cortisol, and cortisol is a contributing factor of acne, it stands to reason that yoga can help clear up acne.

When first starting yoga, the increase in sweating may exacerbate blockages that have already formed, bringing those problems to the forefront at once. Many report that it takes about a month for skin to show benefit from yoga.

Yoga can clear up acne — for some people. If you practice yoga regularly, have accounted for factors such as makeup and cleanliness, and continue having problems with acne, it’s possible that heredity plays a larger role for you. Yoga will, however, help improve your skin tone and texture overall, and can be just one part of a larger campaign for healthier looking skin.

yoga

Most exercise-related acne is the result of several controllable factors. Some tips:

  • Don’t wear make up while exercising!  Always remove your make up by washing your face before exercising!
  • Wash your hands and face both before and after performing yoga.
  • Though sweating is good, it leaves behind salt that can clog pores, so shower afterward.
  • Stay away from clothes that are too tight — especially those made of synthetic fibers. Constant friction against your skin can cause acne mechanica, which is common among athletes and physically active people.
  • Make sure your yoga mat or other equipment is clean, or it can become a home for bacteria.
  • Don’t use your hand to wipe hair or sweat away from your face.

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Healthier Hair

The improved blood flow helps keep your hair stronger and healthier, Dixon says. This blood, full of nutrients, stimulates the hair follicles and promotes growth. “Exercise is also a big stress reliever,” she says. “Lower stress means your hair is less likely to be brittle and, worse, fall out.” Even if you’re as stress free as a cucumber, Dixon recommends checking with your dermatologist about any hair loss to rule out other causes.

As for the best type of exercise for your skin, Dixon says it’s all good. “Every modality will improve circulation and reduce stress,” she says, “but it’s a wise move to mix up your workouts as often as possible.” Try adding 30 minutes of a few simple yoga postures or a brisk walk to your day three times a week, Dixon says, to see the beauty returns in your hair and skin.

Excerpts from Daily Glow, WebMD, and Discovery (Health and Fitness)

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