The Beauty Benefits of Exercise
on Feb. 23, 2016, 8:38 a.m.
There are plenty of reasons to exercise. For some, it's because you have booked a beach vacation, for others, it's about staying healthy. No matter what your motivation is, we can all agree that the main benefit of exercise is obvious. Working out improves your overall health. But, what about the less obvious benefits, the skin and beauty rewards that come from regularly working up a sweat?
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.
The improved blood flow helps make your hair stronger and healthier, says Amy Dixon, a Los Angeles-based exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer. 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."
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. "It gives you that great post-workout glow."
Working out also helps keep a lid on 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, which can increase wrinkles and sagging. "Exercise actually supports the production of collagen", Dixon says. "The boost in this protein helps to keep your skin firm, supple, and elastic."
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."