Gym skin is a bit of a trend at the moment, that glistening glow achieved across the highest points of your face – but you need to get into the real thing and here’s why:
That adrenaline rush post run, spin, or boot camp session is usually followed by a glorious post work out sheen, but gym skin is not the only benefit of the hour you spend achieving it.
I mean sure those endorphins mean you’re in a better mood, and your body WILL thank you (thank goodness for squats) but recent studies indicate a direct link between your skin retaining its youthful glow and your exercise regimen.
Here’s the science.
Exercising increases your blood flow and re-oxygenates the blood at a faster pace. Leading to increased blood flow in your skin.
During cardio related exercise, the increased rate of flow can actually flush cellular debris out of the system. Promoting better skin from within.
Sweat Baby sweat.
Ew ew ew! However it’s time to praise those little glistening beads of body juice. Sweating whilst you exercise opens up your pores and dislodges whatever was stuck there. As we all know however, the key is make the most of this freshly de-clogged skin, is to invest in a good post gym skincare kit and wash immediately after the session. Otherwise not only will your friends and colleagues sit further away, but the surface sweat will re-clog those squeaky clean pores.
Stress Reduction can never be a bad thing.
Working out maintains a regular level of cortisol a stress hormone causing havoc in this new digital age. Any aerobic activity, like walking, jogging, swimming, biking, are great ways to burn-off that excess cortisol. A little bit of cardio goes a long way. Just 20-30 minutes of activity most days of the week pays huge dividends by lowering cortisol levels. And your skin? Dr. Noëlle Sherber, a dermatologist based in Baltimore, says “Elevated cortisol levels are linked to increased sebum production, which means more acne breakouts .” But if you don’t exercise and experience a spike in cortisol, a spotty complexion isn’t your only worry. “Too much cortisol can also cause the collagen in skin to break down,” says Sherber, “which can increase wrinkles and skin sagging”. Noooooooo!
Fascia is the web of tissue that is holding the muscles, nerves and blood vessels together. The fascia needs to be kept springy – this requires a consistent repetitive approach “Keep the body young by keeping elasticity in your tissue,” says Thomas Myers, an anatomy expert and author of Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists. He explains, “We can train ourselves to be younger.” Phew all of that aching is maybe worth it after all.
Less wrinkles – read on
According to this study (covered in the New York Times) myokines are released during exercise. An emerging understanding of our mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) and its role in aging provides a direct link to how exercise keeps us young. Endurance exercise has been shown to induce mtDNA biogenesis and prevent its depletion and mutation.
Another bonus is that working muscle provides another important link between exercise and delayed aging. Working skeletal muscle produces a group of growth factors called myokines. Myokines are released from muscle into the bloodstream to cause changes in distant tissues such as the skin. In the 2011 study, the McMaster researchers measured levels of one myokine, called IL-15, in their exercising subjects and found levels to be about 50 per cent higher in individuals who exercised regularly compared to those that do not.
The local action of myokines in the skin opens the door for a new generation of bioactive medical-grade skin care treatments.
In other words, this is an even more in-depth look at what happens when blood flow is increased and the fascia are flexed—in the study, even people who started exercising late saw an immediate difference in the quality of their skin.
So you may look like a red faced sweaty mess when you step off the treadmill, but your face body and mind will thank you. And as if this isn’t enough of an excuse to hit the gym…..check out the new ivy park active clothing range from Beyonce and try and resist.
Now please excuse me whilst I just go for a 10k run….