We all know about the cardiovascular, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise, but did you know that regular exercise is also one of the keys to healthy skin?

Exercise, by increasing the heart rate and improving blood circulation, can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin which keeps the skin healthy, promotes collagen production, and promotes new skin cells. This keeps the skin glowing and is also helpful for preventing the signs of aging. In addition to providing oxygen, the increased blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from the cells of the skin.  These free radicals are responsible for breaking down our skin’s collagen, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and loose, saggy skin.

Exercise has also been proven to help ease stress. As discussed in our previous blog, stress causes inflammation, which can lead to wrinkles, acne, and overall aging of the skin.

Exercise has also been proven to help ease stress. As discussed in our previous blog, stress causes inflammation, which can lead to wrinkles, acne, and overall aging of the skin. In order to get the benefits of exercise without increasing your stress you need to enjoy your exercise so that it doesn’t become one more stressful task on your to-do list!

If you are exercising out of obligation and hating every minute of it, you are missing out on many of the benefits!  So, by finding an exercise program that you enjoy, you will be simultaneously managing stress and helping your skin!

How do I find an exercise that I enjoy? Thinking through some of these preferences may help you to know the best place to start:

  1. Do I enjoy being indoors or outdoors?
    • Depending upon where you live, you might be able to take advantage of the nature around you and participate in outdoor recreational exercise like skiing, biking, swimming, golfing, hiking, or running. But make sure to protect yourself from the sun! (See previous blog!)
    • If you prefer to exercise indoors, consider joining a gym or specialty fitness center.
      • Find a gym in your neighborhood where you can meet new neighbors.
      • There is a wide variety of specialty fitness centers to meet every interest, from “Spin” to ”Pilates/Yoga” to “Barre” to “Infrared Saunas” (love me some HotWorx!) to ”Crossfit” and all types of Martial Arts and many more!
  1. Do I prefer group exercise or individual workouts?
    • Group exercise can offer a sense of camaraderie and accountability that many people love. Find a friend to work out with and incorporate laughter for an extra bonus!
    • Consider a personal trainer to help customize an individual workout program specifically for you to help you meet your fitness goals.
  2. Do I prefer team sports or individual sports?
    • Team sports can make you feel like you’re playing, not exercising! There are many adult sports leagues that you can join to help keep you consistent while having fun and building relationships.
    • Try something you loved as a kid; or step out of your comfort zone and try another sport or activity that you’ve always wanted to try.
  3. What fits into my current fitness level?
    • It is important to not only find something that you enjoy, but something that is do-able for you. You can start with walking your dog, gardening, shopping, dancing, or stretching.
  4. What’s convenient?
    • In order to maximize consistency, make sure that what you decide upon for exercise can fit into your schedule and lifestyle easily without too much preparation. Otherwise, you will be much less likely to follow through!
    • There is now a huge variety of quality online fitness classes through You-Tube that can be done at home or even while traveling.
    • Consider a Peloton bike or treadmill that will allow you to join fitness classes from home, anytime!
    • Walking is always convenient, doesn’t require equipment, and for the majority of people, doesn’t create undue stress on the knees, hips, or ankles.

So find an exercise that you enjoy and do it consistently! Take baby steps and before you know it you’ll be looking forward to your new hobby! By doing so you’ll improving not only your cardiovascular health, but also your skin health and emotional well-being! Making it fun will help create valuable habits to keep you strong, healthy, and beautiful in the future!

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