Exercise, or movement in general, is very important to our skin health and general well-being. When we exercise, it increases our mitochondria, which are the powerhouse of our cells and provide energy. The skin takes a lot of fuel (energy) because the cells are constantly being shed and built. If the mitochondria are not functioning optimally, that increases skin diseases and accelerates skin aging.
Other benefits of exercise are increased blood flow to the skin, as well as the body, immune system support, decreased effects of stress on our body, improved mood and sleep, and preventing muscle wasting.
When it comes to exercise, any bit of movement is better than nothing. However, more exercise isn’t always better.
Unfortunately, it is possible to over do it. When we do too much, we use up too much of our energy stores and can deplete what we need for the next day or so.
Our body is also put into a state of stress when pushed too hard. That can cause damage to our cells and also increases our cortisol, a stress hormone that is responsible for our fight-or-flight response. Both of these things lead to more downstream negative effects on our skin and body.
We often hear how we need to exercise, but there isn’t much said about the negative impacts of over-exercising and I wanted to bring that to your attention.
I’d say the ideal goal for most people would be:
Disclaimer: Always check with your medical provider before starting any new exercise regimen.
If you haven’t been doing much, to get you started, it can look like a short walk around the house. Then go around the block, slowly increasing how fast and far you go. Try to aim for 10 minutes, then 20, then 30. You can also do it for 10 minutes 3 times a day instead of doing all 30 minutes at once.
Once you can walk easily, then consider adding other forms of exercise like swimming or bicycling for low-impact cardio. Again, starting slow and gradually building up.
Next, add light weights, resistance bands or bodyweight exercises to help muscle tone and increase your endurance. You can stack your exercises throughout the day. Meaning, do some here and there when you can. For example, do squats when you go to the bathroom, do a push up any time you think about it, sit ups right before you eat, and park further away so you have to walk more when going to work or the store.
Yoga and Tai Chi are great options to help with flexibility and strength.
The key is to start very light and slowly increase the intensity as time goes on.
My biggest tip, though, is to make it fun! If you don’t enjoy it, you want to do it. That can look different for everyone. It could be dancing to your favorite songs, playing in the yard with your kids or grandkids, going for a hike, or paddle boarding (one of my favorite things).
I believe that everyone should sleep, move, and do stress-reducing activities. By incorporating movement into your life, you are fulfilling 2 of those action statements.
For more skin-saving tips, check out my FREE eBook, "The 3 Day Jumpstart to Loving Your Skin." Click the image below.
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