I often recommend exercise and more physical movement to my clients who want to improve their skin. Some of them seem to have a hard time believing that exercising can be more helpful than any cream you slather on. But I want them, and you, to understand that exercise can be so beneficial that there really is no reason not to do it if you’re serious about healing your skin. The reasons are almost endless, but so that I don’t keep you here all day, here are the highlights.
Exercise increases circulation. Your blood is what carries vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants to the cells in your body (including skin). If you don’t move much throughout the day, your circulation gets sluggish. So, even if you eat a healthy, nutritious diet, if you aren’t getting movement into your life, you aren’t getting the most out of your food.
It cleans your skin (and whole body) from the inside. Just as your body’s circulation delivers nutrients that your cells need, it also hauls away waste and by products that your cells don’t need. Good circulation keeps everything in tip top shape.
It increases your antioxidant stores. If you read my series about understanding acne, you know that oxidation is a major contributor to the acne process, and that antioxidants are the fire fighters that can help put out inflammation. So, the more antioxidants we have in our body, the better. By exercising, you increase the amount of antioxidants your body can store at any given time, which can only help with skin problems.
It makes you feel better. Exercise has now been proven to be an effective strategy to overcome depression. It can also help you relax and gain confidence. In this regard, exercise does double duty for helping with your skin. I always say that you need to address physical, mental and emotional components of your health and wellbeing to heal your skin. Exercise obviously falls into the physical category, but it can also help with the mental and emotional as well. It can help your body process stress and make you feel good. That can only help!
But maybe all this is preaching to the choir. Just about everyone knows they should be exercising, and that it’s beneficial – but not everybody does it. Why not? Let’s address some of the most common reasons (excuses) I come across, and bust through them.
Excuse 1 – I don’t have time
Bare minimum you should get 30 minutes of exercise 4 times a week. That is 2 hours out of 168. That’s like 1% of your time. If you only want to count the hours you’re awake, it’s still less than 2%. If you don’t have time in half hour chunks, then break it up. Do three 10 minute sessions, or two 15 minutes sessions. I bet you spend more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time aimlessly dinkering around online, no? Get off your computer or phone and move your butt!
Bonus – I just found this simple but great app which can help you get a good workout in 7 minutes (don’t forget to warm up first and stretch after to prevent injury and soreness – so actually plan for 12 – 15 minutes total).
Excuse 2 – It’s hard
Then start slow, love. Nobody’s saying you have to be a triathlete here. If you’ve done zero exercise before now, start by taking a 5 minute walk. The next time walk 6 minutes, then 7 minutes, you see where I’m going with this. After you’ve increased the time, then you increase the pace.
Here’s a hot tip: If you want to start any new endeavor in your life that intimidates you, think of the absolute smallest action that you know you can take – then do that. Start there. That’s all you have to do. Start.
Excuse 3 – I don’t know what to do.
Do. Anything. Dance around your house. Go for a very brisk walk or light jog. Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Do jumping jacks. Jump rope. Go swimming. Join a gym. Take a hike. Lift some weights. Hire a trainer. Take a class. Make some whoopie…
There are a bagillion things you can do to for exercise, not to mention loads of affordable or even free online resources. No excuses.
And just so you know, the key is to get your ticker tockin. That means you need to have an elevated heart rate. You should be at least a little out of breath. You shouldn’t be able to carry on a full conversation while working out.
Now, if you are way out of shape, brand new to exercising, or have any sort of heart condition – please consider getting professional help and advice first.
Is there anything else you’re telling yourself that’s keeping you from getting your butt moving? Leave me a comment below.
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