I’ve recently signed up for Pure Fitness @ Knightsbridge and converted into a gym bunny. If I’m not working, I’m probably at the gym, sweating it out at the machines or letting loose in group classes. The results: skyrocketing energy levels and glowing, radiant skin!
From reducing acne breakouts to fighting the signs of aging, health experts say regular exercise can play a big role in how young and how healthy your skin looks and feels. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, so the benefits of exercise can be enormous – increased circulation, delivery of nutrients to skin cells and whooshing away potentially damaging toxins. Exercising also gives skin the optimum conditions for making collagen, the support fibers that help keep wrinkles and lines at bay.
But perhaps the most dramatic effects of exercise are on acne-prone skin. Doctors say working out provides many benefits that can help clear the skin. How? Exercise mediates the production of testosterone-related hormones such as DHEA and DHT. “There’s a lot of indirect evidence that shows that when you exercise your level of stress diminishes. So your adrenal glands are producing less of these male-type hormones that are part of any acne flare-up,” says David Berman, MD, medical director and dermatologic/cosmetic surgeon at the Berman Skin Institute, Palo Alto, Calif., and former chief of dermatology at Santa Clara County Hospital. No wonder, the more stressed I am, the more I want to work out (5x for a particularly hellish week!).
If you want proof, think about any situation that increased your stress level – finishing a term paper or job project on deadline – and you’re likely to recall a breakout. Exercise can help control it. “By reducing stress, it tends to quiet the adrenals. There is less hormone output which in turn helps control acne,” says Berman.
Regular exercise also increases sweating, which in turn can unclogs pores and have a positive effect on breakouts. In the long run, people who exercise have a better complexion overall. If they have acne, it’s better controlled, and if they have occasional breakouts they are definitely less severe, and clear quicker and easier. Now, isn’t this enough reason for you to throw on your sweats and work it out? Can’t wait to hit the gym again tomorrow!