Are you exercising? Are you raising your heart rate regularly? Are you sweating? Are you building lean muscle?
If the answer is yes, then you don’t have to read further. Good job, you rock!
If the answer is no, then you have a BIG problem, darling. You need to run a lap around the block right now because you can’t have clear skin without regular exercise…Okay, some people can!
But the benefits of exercise are so great…Let’s start with how exercise actually improves your skin directly.
EXERCISE AND SKIN
Some people say things like ‘sweating detoxes your skin’ which is kinda…wrong.
You do 99% of your detoxing as you swipe right and left on Tinder as you sit on the toilet, because it’s your kidneys and liver that are responsible for detoxification – not sweat.
The sweat just helps with temperature control, and thank God it does.
The real benefit of raising your heart rate is increased blood flow. Contrary to popular belief, skin doesn’t breathe through the pores. Read about 10 crazy skin myths here.
The skin receives it’s oxygen from the BLOOD, along with all the necessary nutrients. But blood plays another role…
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Blood supplies the skin with oxygen and nutrients on the way in, and takes waste products away from the skin on the way out…
It’s like cleansing from the inside out! The body is seriously amazing.
But that’s not all!
EXERCISE, STRESS, AND INFLAMMATION
Exercising also lowers cortisol levels, which chills you out and improves your mood.
The key to lowering cortisol through exercise is to keep your sessions sweaty and no longer than 40 minutes, because cortisol levels can go up after that.
Lower cortisol levels also mean lower chronic inflammation…The key to excellent health!
As I said in the last article, chronic inflammation is the mechanism responsible for the red, yucky, swollen pimples that make you want to hide inside a paper bag.
If your immune system is healthy, it comes to a fistfight with a knuckle-ring . The intruder (bacteria or clogged pore) is taken care of without things getting too bloody…
If your immune system is experiencing chronic inflammation then it’s paranoid about every threat. It comes to every fistfight with a nuclear warhead…
Which means that every clogged pore turns into a huge, swollen, explosive mess. It’s the body’s way of protecting you, but an overprotective body is not a good thing.
No exercise means you’re more likely to have raised cortisol levels and therefore higher chronic inflammation.
Just as time-restricted feeding lowers inflammation, so does exercise.
EXERCISE AND HORMONE BALANCE
Exercising lowers cortisol levels, which is amazing. But it also helps improve insulin levels.
Insulin is a hormone that plays a huge role in pimples…Too much insulin in the blood from eating too much sugar and processed carbohydrates, results in sebum overproduction.
When you produce too much sebum, your skin is more likely to get clogged.
Too much insulin in the blood also increases chronic inflammation, which makes your immune system trigger-happy.
Now you have too much sebum that’s clogging your pores, and an immune system that’s happy to explode every minor clog into a full-blown pustule or cyst…A recipe for face craters..
Exercise helps the body deal with sugar and insulin BETTER. It also helps empty out your body’s glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, so that you have room to store unused energy.
The faster you empty out your glycogen stores, the better your insulin sensitivity will become. That means that if you eat sugar and high-glycemic foods, you have to use up the energy otherwise it will overwhelm your system and cause insulin resistance.
You can use up glycogen stores by just walking. You’ll be able to use up glycogen stores even faster with more intense exercise like sprinting, cycling, and lifting heavy weights.
I recently also found research saying that exercising balances estrogens in females. We have three kind of estrogens, and they need to be in the right proportions.
Some women have too much of the bad estrogen, or too little of the good estrogen and need help. But instead of rushing out to try hormone balancing herbs and supplements, try exercise instead!
Extra body fat excretes extra estrogen…Not good. Exercise can cut down fat stores, increase lean muscle mass so that you aren’t overproducing estrogen.
However, too much exercise can do the opposite. Some excessively lean girls can’t produce enough sex hormones and end up missing their periods…
The ideal amount of exercise ranges from 2-4 times a week, for 30-40 minutes. Not too crazy, right?
EXERCISE IS ANTI-AGING
The coolest thing that exercise does though is that it increases mitochondrial volume!
Mitochondria are the cell’s powerhouses – they are responsible for energy production that drives all the processes of the cell. Mitochondria are IMPORTANT.
With time, mitochondria levels increase or decrease based on the activity levels of your muscle cells.
You know what else?
The lower your mitochondria density, the lower your metabolism, and the easier you put on extra inches.
One easy way to INCREASE mitochondria in the body is through exercise. Another way is through time-restricted feeding, and yet another way is through cold water submersion – brrr.
I think exercise is the easiest way to go.
BUT I DON’T WANT TO EXERCISE
You mean you don’t want to have clear skin, be fit, with a great posture, better mood, more focus, more energy, more confidence, and amazing sleep?
A friend of mine once wrote, “If you find excuses not to exercise, then you’ll find excuses for everything else.”
I do believe that exercise is non-negotiable to great health and amazing skin…
It’s something that you have to make a priority in your life. It’s up to you to make it a habit.
You can start by getting off a few stops earlier and walking further, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a run around the block in your neighborhood. Just start!
I used to resist exercise, but I pushed through my aversion and focused instead on the MANY benefits that it presented.
Luckily, clear skin has always been a HUGE motivation for me. Every small thing I can do for clear skin adds up…
With practice, I started enjoying being active. I loved feeling tight, strong, and powerful. Being active improved not only my skin, but my mood, my sleep, and my badassery. Exercising gives me a much-appreciated pep in my step, where I literally walk straighter, hold my head higher, and radiate confidence!
I run in my neighborhood, do P90x (a fitness DVD), yoga, or TRX about every other day. One thing that helps me stay consistent is preparing my workout gear ahead of time so that I see it when I wake up and have ZERO excuses not to put it on and actually work out.
Find a form of exercise that floats your boat…You can try pole dancing (amazing for core strength!), kick-boxing (Gigi is doing it!), join a sports league and play something super fun like dodgeball, go rock-climbing, hiking…
You can be a good influence on your friends and take them with you on your runs while also keeping each other accountable!
Get competitive, set intentions and goals…If you intend to walk 10 thousand steps a day, then make it happen! If you intend to go for an evening run 3 times a week, then make it happen.
Clear skin requires exercise, not excuses.
P.S. I created a video series called 28 Days Of Clear Skin, where every day you get one, game-changing hack in your inbox! Sign up so you don’t miss a single one here.