You know exercise is good for you—how else would you burn fat and keep your muscles and heart in tip-top condition? If you’re just starting out on an exercise program, good for you! I know it can be hard to get up in the morning and do yoga, or go running, or hit the pool for laps. Whatever you do—or want to do—for your exercise routine, here’s a little extra motivation: Exercise is so good for your skin! Yes, even with the amount of sweating you do while you feel the burn.
Here’s how to get that healthy glow: give your skin the most from your daily workout!
Before the Burn
If you forget to take off your mascara and don’t realize until you’re on the treadmill, that’s okay. It won’t ruin your skin if you do this once or twice. But for heaven’s sake, don’t intentionally put makeup on to go exercise or go to the gym.
This isn’t as much of a problem if you work out first thing in the morning—if you happen to be an early-riser exerciser, just rinse your face with a little bit of cool (not cold) water to wake yourself up and get the blood flowing in your facial muscles and around your pores (more on why that’s important in a bit).
Of course, the skin in your face isn’t the only skin you have to worry about. Make sure your workout clothes are comfortable, and that they’re made of fabric that breathes and wicks away moisture (such as sweat).
While You Work (Out)
Alright! You’re feeling the burn? Yes. You’re enjoying it? Great.
Hopefully you have a water bottle on hand. While hydrating post-workout is slightly more important than drinking throughout, it’s good to have it nearby in case you do get thirsty; if you’re thirsty you are, medically speaking, dehydrated.
Keep a small towel on hand to wipe away the sweat as your face gets soaked. Sweat is, technically speaking, a good thing: it is your body’s way of keeping itself cool and flushing out your skin. But since your pores are wide open during your workout, it can be easy for flushed-out dirt or bacteria to become trapped in your skin again. Nobody wants to break out, so use either a special workout towel or a plain old (clean) bathroom washcloth to wipe the sweat away.
This also serves the function of getting rid of dead skin cells, another thing that can clog your pores. One of the best things exercise does is speed your all-over skin cell turnover; you get new, youthful skin faster. Unattended dead skin cells clog pores, so be sure to lightly wipe sweat with your towel regularly in order to bring out the beautiful new layer of skin you have on underneath.
Post Cool-Down Skincare
Well, that was a lovely workout, wasn’t it? You’ve probably gone through your cool-down and you’re enjoying that adrenaline high. But there are still a few things you need to do for your skin.
First off, drink that water. You need to be properly hydrated all the time to keep your skin healthy , but especially after a workout is time to replenish that H2O you expended. Keep drinking for a little bit even after you no longer feel thirsty. And be sure to balance your electrolytes, either with a good sports drink or (even better) low-fat chocolate milk.
If you’ve ever wondered why health clubs have saunas, prepare to be amazed: these hot rooms are a relaxing place to spend up to 20 minutes in, but it’s not just for your muscles. Sitting and sweating in one of these rooms forces the rest of the sweat—along with dirt, oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells—out of your pores so it doesn’t get trapped when your pores close up on you in the shower.
If you don’t have access to a sauna, just go straight to the shower and be sure it’s warm enough. If you must decrease the temperature (some of us do like a cool shower after a particularly good spinning or squats session), do so gradually so as to not shock your pores into holding onto all that icky stuff that causes zits.
Either way, be sure to gently and thoroughly cleanse your skin, washing all over in a final clean-out of your pores. You don’t need harsh cleansers, and this isn’t the time to exfoliate—just a good, gentle cleanser will do. And be sure to lightly moisturize once you’re out of the shower—no sense in making your skin think it needs to make more oil!
You probably know it’s good to eat some protein after a workout. Chicken and yogurt are excellent, but try to include protein with other skin-supporting nutrients. Why not top the chicken with avocado or add some Mango and almonds to your yogurt?
Whether you work for a school, a website design and development company, or a catering company, we all need to take some time to exercise. It brings amazing health benefits, including healthy skin—if you do it right.
About the Author
<a href=“https://plus.google.com/u/0/106888201107329937251/posts?rel=author”>Victoria Ramos</a> studied business and now blogs about developments in the field, as well as her other interests. She loves shopping, socializing, hosting parties, decorating, and writing.