In need of some extra motivation to hit the gym other than increasing heart and lung function, weight control and gaining muscle? Well what about looking and feeling more beautiful. Muscle gains aren’t the only thing to gain from working out; exercise improves your body’s overall physiological functioning by increasing blood flow and the delivery of essential nutrients. This process has a greater impact than just shrinking your waistline; adding exercise to your beauty routine can help enhance the look of your skin and hair, improve sleep habits, boost your immune system and improve your mood.
Exercise can be a natural and cost-effective way to promote clear and vibrant skin; as little as 20 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity can aid in reducing breakouts and acne, preventing wrinkles and inducing a natural glow.
During exercise blood circulation to the entire body increases and your face is filled with many tiny blood vessels that lie close to the surface of the skin, these arteries dilate during exercise allowing blood that is rich in oxygen and nutrients to access the skin. This blood rich in oxygen and nutrients gives you that post-workout glow and also helps to keep skin clear, plump and improves overall texture by increasing collagen production. Collagen is the protein responsible for maintaining skin elasticity, keeping skin taut and preventing wrinkles.
Like blood vessels during exercise skin pores also dilate and become wider this helps to flush out debris from the skin, which decreases breakouts and helps controls acne. Sweating gives an extra push and further helps to expel dirt and oil that become trapped in your pores, making high-intensity workouts a great way to clear clogged pores.
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This also makes post workout the best time to wash your face and prevent dirt and oils that have been released during exercise from being sucked back into the pores. Exercise can also help with skin conditions triggered by stress by helping with stress relief and decreasing cortisol levels which is the stress hormone linked to increasing oil production in the skin.
Your face isn’t the only area benefiting after exercise your scalp also gets some much needed nourishment. While you workout your scalp gets a fresh supply of that oxygen and nutrient-rich blood as blood vessels in the scalp open up, this promotes hair growth and helps to keep your hair and follicles healthy and strong. Exercise also helps to release natural oils from the scalp, preventing hair from drying out and becoming brittle. As a stress reliever exercise may help with reducing hair loss, as stress is one of the leading causes of female hair loss in North America.
Can exercise really help you sleep better? The answer is yes! According to the Journal of Sleep Medicine, people experience a better quality of sleep if they get at least 150 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. People who exercised regularly reported having more restful sleeps, feeling refreshed in the morning, and feeling less tired during the day.
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Exercise triggers an increase in body temperature followed by a gradual decline; this drop in temperature helps to promote falling asleep. Exercise also helps to decrease arousal states, which have been linked to insomnia. Getting a good nights rest is also important for the repair of your body and build tissue post workout. Schedule workouts in the late afternoon and evening to get more rest at night.
The Immune System:
Just like your heart and lungs regular exercise can also increase the strength of your immune system. Regular exercise not only increases white blood cells and natural killer cells which protect the body by destroying bacteria and other foreign bodies,g but people who exercise experience faster response times of these cells. Exercise improves the efficiency at which blood is transported through the body, which in turn allows white blood cells to move more quickly and detect illness earlier than in those who do not workout regularly. Exercise also improves the body’s lymphatic system, which is responsible for filtering toxins from the body. Increase muscle contraction during exercise aids with lymphatic drainage and elimination of waste. Lastly exercise increases body temperature making it hard for certain infectious organisms to survive.
Mood Improvement & Stress:
There is a strong link between mood and exercise, studies have shown that people who are active reported being less stressed and depressed than individuals who are inactive. During a workout your brain releases natural feel-good chemicals called endorphins; these chemicals help to relieve stress and anxiety and give you a natural “high”, which improves your mood.
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Serotonin is another chemical released by the brain during exercise, high levels of serotonin are associated with an elevated mood while low levels are associated with depression. Exercise is a great way to increase your energy level, confidence, memory and overall sense of well-being
The benefits of exercise are proven and countless, it’s a great cost-effective way to improve your health and well-being in more ways than one. So the next time you’re in the store stocking up on your favourite beauty products remember to add regular exercise to your beauty routine for more radiant skin, luscious locks, a good nights rest, and a stronger immune system.