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How Exercise Affects Your Skin

Cleanser, moisturizer, and ... cardio too?

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Exercise has a positive effect on skin health. Cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow and therefore the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your skin cells. This feeds the skin and helps with the process of repair and regeneration of skin cells. Hence, that post-workout glow after your run.

Running is an incredible form of exercise. However, some people believe that high impact cardiovascular exercise such as running, jogging and jumping can lead to premature wrinkles and sagging. They put this down to the high-impact nature of running – the repeated pounding of the pavement. However, something else is actually going on.

Weight loss. Many runners weren’t always runners and may have lost weight when they started exercising. When you lose weight, you also lose weight from the face, which can make wrinkles more pronouced. It also makes the hollows of the face, such as the cheeks, more noticeable. In other words, running did not make the skin any less elastic.

Sun exposure. Runners tend to spend a lot of time outdoors – running. Most of us don’t use enough sun protection. And spending time outdoors without proper sun proctection will cause wrinkles and fine lines, as well as hyperpigmentation.

So the real culprit is sun exposure. However, wearing proper sun protection such as sun block, hat or visor, sunglasses, and running clothing with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), will help prevent sun damage.

How to Prevent Skin Damage

  1. Avoid the sun when it is at is strongest.
  2. Use a high SPF on your neck, as well as face. Neck skin can show sun damage early on because it’s much thinner than facial skin, thus good protection is vital.
  3. Stay hydrated —hydrated skin looks plumper and is less susceptible to wrinkling.
  4. Don’t smoke!
  5. Several studies suggest that eating whole foods are beneficial for the skin and that “good fats” such as those found in salmon, avocados, olive oil and almonds are packed with skin-friendly ingredients, which improve your skin’s condition. A diet lacking these healthy fats can lead to dull and dehydrated skin.

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