We’ve all been there. It’s Friday night. You’re going to get up early tomorrow and go to the gym. Then the morning comes, but you’re still sooo tired. Your workout can wait another hour. Two hours later, you drag yourself out of bed, skip the gym, grab a donut from the kitchen, and crash on the couch in front of the TV.
Despite the mainstream media’s countless warnings of a sedentary lifestyle’s risks, people still choose this over an active lifestyle involving regular exercise and a proper diet. Many of us work 40-plus hours a week at desk jobs and then find our minds and bodies too exhausted to take care of ourselves.
Now more than ever, people should choose to lead active lifestyles. A recently published study says that inactivity is worse for a person than smoking, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with your skin. Lots.
A lack of activity takes a toll on your skin, too. People may spend a small fortune on skincare products and treatments to keep their skin looking young and fresh. But people forget how the skin benefits from exercise. You know that glow you get after a workout? That’s just part of it.
Stop the Stress
We all get stressed out, and it’s exhausting for our minds and physical wellbeing. Stress also can cause inflammation and exacerbate skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, and breakouts.
Exercise is an effective way to destress. It produces endorphins (the “happy hormone”), which brings about feelings of relaxation and calm. In the beginning, exercise tends to be a chore and could actually cause stress, but everything gets better as you build your endurance and strength. So take things slow and go at your own pace.
Skipping out on a daily workout or other forms of exercise will limit your choices for managing stress. But exercise will make your skin and overall body healthier. It’s good for your mind’s wellbeing, too.
Make Your Skin Vibrant
Physical activity that raises a person’s heart rate up and produces sweat nourishes the skin and cleans it on a cellular level. Exercising leads to increased blood flow, which improves the body’s circulation. This helps the skin because your blood can deliver nourishment and oxygen more effectively.
Good circulation helps clear the skin from cellular debris, such as free radicals, which affect the skin’s elasticity. When your skin loses elasticity, more pronounced fine lines and wrinkles will appear. When we forgo exercise, we are missing out on vital skin nourishment that could lead to more vibrant, velvety skin.
Erase Years from Skin
A recent study has shown that regular exercise can actually make skin look younger even after aging. In other words, exercise can turn back the clock for skin.
In the study, volunteers aged 20 to 84 years were put into two groups – active and inactive. The active group engaged in three sessions of exercise per week, while the other group did not. After the exercising period, the skin of the active volunteers was examined and evaluated. The researchers concluded that the active volunteers (who were 40 years old and up) had better, younger-looking skin than those in the sedentary group.
The study also tested another group composed of 65-year-olds. Half of the group was required to engage in two sessions of exercise every week for three months. Afterward, the active seniors had skin with a composition close to that of someone aged 20 to 40 years old, while the sedentary group did not.
The Choice is Easy
It’s understandable that after a long day at work, we just lounge around and watch TV. However, when we do that, it will bring us more bad than good. The choice is yours.
The good news is that there are easy ways to get exercise in other than going to the gym or taking up a sport.
- Shop with a basket. When grocery shopping, opt for a basket instead of a cart. Walking around the store is already great, and adding the basket kicks it up a notch.
- Park far, far away! Anyone can sneak in a walk or jog by parking far from the entrance of the store or mall. This is a great way to engage in a cardiovascular exercise while running errands. For example, if an average person parks eight minutes away and brisk walks to and fro, about 76 calories can be burned.
- Walk with the family. On weekends, go to the park, take a stroll, and enjoy the scenery with your family. This is a great way to be active while spending time with the ones you love.
- Use/make a standing desk. If your workplace allows it (and better yet pays for it), consider getting a standing desk, as because its use proves to be highly beneficial especially for those who spend a considerable amount of time in front of their desks. We do understand that standing desks could be expensive, that is why we have an easy solution for you! Simply purchase an adjustable lap tray and place it on top of your current desk. This would serve as a great substitution.
- Skip the elevator. Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator. If you have an office on a really high floor and taking the stairs all the way is an intimidating feat, take two flights of stairs and use the elevator the rest of the way. As you get used to this, add another flight.
If you’re not used to physical activity, take things slowly and at your own pace. Commit to a schedule that works for you and stick to it. The best exercise isn’t the one that will make you drop the most weight or improve your skin the fastest. The best is the one you enjoy and will continue to do.