Exercise and your Skin

Any doctor will tell you that physical activity is essential to your health. In fact, regular exercise can add anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5 years to your life. That’s because physical activity, even without weight loss, is linked to a reduced risk of chronic ailments including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer (even most types of skin cancer). I have always been a big advocate for making exercise a part of your regular routine, all year long and not just after holidays! I believe if you can find one or two forms of physical activity that you enjoy enough to do multiple times a week, you’ll be living proof of the benefits that come from getting your blood flowing. Pair that with a healthy, nutrient-rich diet and there’s no reason you can’t look as unstoppable as you feel.

As hectic as my schedule can be between running my own practice and chasing around two growing boys, I do make exercise a priority and try to work out every day. It keeps my mind clear, and I definitely feel happier when I know I’m taking time for myself. Some days I’ll go for a run through a local park and get inspired by the calm and beauty of my surroundings. I always wear my wireless headphones and make sure to set out either before 9am or after 4pm to avoid sun damage. Other days I’ll swim for 30 minutes. (If outdoors, I wear a full Ian Thorpe swimsuit for UV protection – no matter how much my husband teases me!) But my favorite form of exercise is Pilates. As much as I believe in the physical benefits, the practice feeds my soul like no other activity can. (Let me know if you haven’t yet but are interested in trying it out. I would love to point you toward my favorite local studios and instructors.)

Aside from a strong body and mind, it should be of no surprise that my favorite benefit of regular exercise is the glow it brings to your skin. By promoting healthy circulation and increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keeps them vital. That’s because blood carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, including the skin, while at the same time carries away waste products, including free radicals, from cells. So by increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system, essentially “cleansing your skin from the inside”. This is what creates that healthy, positive glow that makes us look (and feel!) younger and healthier.

Exercise is also a fantastic stress reliever, and we all know the toll stress can take on our bodies and overall health. Although researchers are still investigating the link between stress and skin, studies show that our oil-producing sebaceous glands are influenced by stress hormones. That means reducing stress can help ease uncomfortable conditions like acne and eczema – yet another reason to lace up those sneakers or roll out your Pilates mat.

I’ll see you out there.

Dr.Dolder

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