On a rare trip out to the supermarket or while gazing out of your oh-so-familiar living room window, I’m sure you’ve noticed a new population of runners, walkers and cyclists. Maybe you’ve implemented an at-home fitness regime that you’re actually managing to stick to? With a new excess of precious time on our hands (and perhaps to counteract some lockdown baking), most of us are moving more and there are some pretty awesome side-effects (apart from muffin-top reduction) of this that you may have already noticed in your complexion and more!
Exercise contributes to glow in a number of ways. Movement increases circulation of both blood and lymph. Increased blood flow means increased delivery of beauty-nutrients to our skin cells which simply enhance skin cell behavior, therefore, skin appearance. With optimal ingredients, our skin is able to produce more and better-quality collagen for one! Blood also carries oxygen, which our skin looooves for its healing, anti-inflammatory and collagen-boosting effects. Increasing lymph flow results in a more effective removal of skin-damaging toxins and free radicals which, left to hang around, contribute to skin-cell degradation. Additionally, a good sweat session helps to expel dirt, debris and excess trapped oil from our skin to give an extra detox. Just be sure to cleanse all of that gunk from your skin with a good double-cleanse afterwards. All of this almost sounds like the best skin treatment you’ve ever had!
Knowing that you’re doing something so amazing for yourself such as moving your body can really increase your feeling of self-worth. There are few feelings better than the one you get the moment after finishing off a workout, oh the satisfaction! When we exercise, we are aware that we are doing something that will improve ourselves, not only what we perceive in the mirror, but we are also encouraging a stronger and all-round healthier version of our bodies, what could give you more of a confidence boost than that?
Better moods and Stress relief
We all know that exercise releases endorphins, our helpful little happy hormones. But paired with this, movement lowers stress and anxiety to create one greatly improved state of mind! The way in which exercise reduces anxiety is that firstly, it distracts you from whatever may be causing you to worry. It also releases magical anti-anxiety neurochemicals such as serotonin, gamma aminobutyric acid (what?!) and neutrophic factor.
We’re all looking for ways to gain a better-functioning immune system right now and exercise can play a big part here too! You may not have been aware that when we exercise, we release more of our little soldiers; wonderful white blood cells. These guys help to fight off bacteria and viruses, so they couldn’t be more valuable to us. Get regular exercise and build up your own internal army!
Of course, a good workout is going to tire you out to some degree, helping to prime your body for bedtime. But, once again, there’s a bit more science at play here. Throughout our day, little stressors trigger your adrenal system to make cortisol which can build up in our body. When this is stored, it can leave us feeling kind of wired, not ideal at sleepy-time! A bit of movement in your day works to release this cortisol to make switching off much easier and sleep deeper. The benefits of better sleep? Now that’s a whole separate story!