Did you know that exercise is not only good for your health and wellbeing, but it’s also great for your skin too? Skin is our body’s largest organ, and is hugely affected by our lifestyles. Exercise can delay the effects of ageing and increase our skin vitality. Getting your sweat on can help improve your skin’s overall appearance and health, and it doesn’t take too much to get your body moving and blood flowing. Read on for more reasons why exercise is so good for your skin. So get your body moving – your skin will thank you for it! Six benefits of exercise on your skin: 1. Increased Blood Flow The increase in blood flow during exercise helps to carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your body, which in turn works to nourish your skin. The increased blood flow also helps to carry waste products like free radicals away from the working cells, cleansing your skin from the inside out. It has been shown that regular exercise promotes circulation and keeps skin healthy and happy. Blood flow increases and this causes a number of good things to happen – oxygen is carried to nourish our cells and blood flow helps to remove waste products and free radicals. Your cells get more of what they need and are less affected by toxins. This creates benefits from the inside out, and can give your skin a plumped up appearance. 2. Skin Elasticity Elasticity allows the skin to return back into place once stretched. Regular exercise can help your skin look younger for longer due to increased elasticity. The circulation caused by movement can improve the health of your skin, increasing firmness and resilience. Studies have shown that regardless of when you start exercising, it can have a hugely positive effect on skin thickness and elasticity. 3. Muscle Tone Muscle mass tends to decrease by a rate of about one percent each year after reaching the age of 30. But never fear, if we take active steps towards building muscle we can make our skin less prone to wrinkles or sagging. Exercise supports the production of collagen, a protein that is the support structure of our skin. If we work towards strengthening and toning the muscles underneath, this can make our skin on top look much healthier. 4. Stress Reduction In the words of Elle Woods from Legally Blonde – “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy”. She was certainly on the right track – endorphins can reduce stress hormones, improving stress-related skin conditions such as eczema and acne. Stress can trigger many skin struggles and even speed up the skin ageing process. Acne and eczema are two skin conditions that are often exacerbated by stress, so ensuring that you’re working up a sweat can help to improve the condition of your skin. There are also studies that show the sebaceous glands in the body which produce oil in the skin, are directly influenced by stress hormones, so less stress equals a more controlled release of oil. Taking some time out and getting active can be hugely beneficial. Not only can it minimise flare ups, exercise can help keep our immune system healthy and able to respond if we end up facing skin or body health concerns. Exercise is one of the master keys in life to helping us feel more confident, comfortable and happy in both our bodies and our skin. 5. Get a healthy glow Exercising helps blood to flow in your body, and as the skin is filled with blood vessels that lie close to the surface, this can have a particularly positive effect on your skin. When you exercise, these blood vessels dilate or widen, giving the skin a glowing appearance. Exercise also helps with the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin supple and firm, so both the overall appearance and the texture of your complexion can improve. 6. Sleep We all know that feeling of climbing into bed at night after having done a big workout during the day. Exercise sets us up for a great night’s sleep where our skin can be regenerated and repaired. Collagen is produced as we sleep, making our skin plumper and less prone to sagging and wrinkles. Getting a good night of zzz’s can also mean we are less likely to wake up with droopy eyelids or dark under eye circles as well. Now that’s reason to have some sweet dreams! Workouts to Try Any movement is good. Exercises particularly helpful for skin health are toning and cardio– cardio helps to flush toxins from the body and regenerate skin and cells, while toning can enhance skin elasticity. Great workouts to try include yoga, pilates, barre classes as well as walking, cycling, swimming or weight exercises. In the end, the best exercise is one that you enjoy. Find something you love and make an effort to do it regularly. If you’re heading outside be sure to slap on some SPF to keep your skin sun safe (and apply to your body, face and backs of hands). Read our blog on the best SPF for your face, and shop our SPF ranges here. It can also be a good idea to wear loose, moisture-wicking clothing and shower soon after a workout to keep sweat and bacteria off your skin. And remember to keep hydrated. Now go get your post-workout glow!