Exercise is a vital part of optimal skin health - are you doing the right kind? Continue reading below to learn more about the best kind of exercise that you should be doing to support and nourish your skin, now and for years to come.
Holistic Healing with Yoga
It's not secret I'm a huge fan of yoga, and with good reason. Not only is it a great workout and amazing for priming physical fitness, it's also a wonderful way to integrate a little mind-body medicine into your life. Our thoughts have a major influence on our lives and body. Stress management, in my opinion, is a major issue that needs to have more light shone on it. So many of us are chronically stressed and not doing anything about it, which can lead to long-term issues like increased inflammation, chronic disease, gut issues and skin issues like acne, rosacea and early aging. Implementing some type of mind-body practice involving movement can do wonders for your skin.
Certain yoga poses, or types of yoga can also be beneficial for optimal skin health. Inversion poses, like shoulder stand or headstands are a great way to encourage blood flow to the facial skin and thyroid. Skin dryness is a common issue and can be linked to poor thyroid function. Studies even show that regular inversion poses can help stimulate thyroid function! All the more reason to add a few inversion poses into your day. Not only will it help your skin and thyroid, but can also help with swollen feet and varicose veins!
Hot yoga is also a personal favourite of mine. I noticed for myself that since I started a regular hot yoga routine, the quality of my skin improved. Hot yoga encourages sweating and increased circulation to the skin. It's also a wonderful way to help "detox" your system, pushing out impurities that naturally build up in the body.
Get Sweaty with the Right Cardio Workouts
Speaking of sweating with hot yoga, cardiovascular exercise is also great for your skin! Running, biking, tabata (a jumping-style workout) - anything that gets your heart pumping and your body sweating is helpful for your skin. Not only does cardiovascular exercise encourage blood flow to the skin and help push out impurities from the skin, it's also great for lymphatic movement. Lymph drainage and incredibly important for skin health. When our lymph system become stagnant, it can cause us to feel sluggish as well as lead to our skin looking sallow and lacklustre. Tabata workouts or anything that involves jumping is ideal for your lymph. If you're really looking to invest in optimizing lymphatic drainage, get a rebounder - those small trampolines. They're fun, a decent exercise (or easily added to a workout routine) and are great for your lymph system.
At the end of the sweat session, make sure you're cleaning your face properly to avoid those impurities that you've just pushed out of your skin from wreaking havoc on your skin's healthy bacteria and causing acne. Gentle cleansers, or those made for sensitive skin are best. Avoid harsh toners and products specifically formulated for acne - I find these products dry the skin out too much, causing redness and aggravating breakouts more than helping them.
Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly to achieve the best results. This can be 45-60 minutes a few days a week or a consistent 30 minutes five days per week. Whatever works best for you, the main goal is to stick to it so you can reap the rewards of exercise for your skin health for years to come.