Love it or hate it, the health benefits of cardio make it something you don’t want to miss out on. If you want a tougher heart, stronger lungs, something to help battle depression and anxiety, a weight management tool or even just a confidence booster, cardio should be your go to. But will lacing up and hitting the running trails help your skin?
Stress and Pesky Breakouts
We all feel stress, and in turn our bodies release cortisol – a useful hormone for say, that sabre-tooth tiger attack, not so much for rush hour traffic on deadline day. Your skin will thank you for anything you can do to lower stress. Do you ever breakout at the worst possible time? That wedding, job interview or work presentation? Our sebaceous glands are involved in our skin’s oil production, and are stress sensitive, meaning when you’re really feeling under it, so is your skin.
Cardio is a great way to blow off steam and de-stress, so long as you don’t go too hard. We’re looking for an activity we can perform in a light, easy manner. Think brisk walking, light running, cycling, hiking, dancing, anything that bumps up your heart rate. We don’t want to be huffing and puffing though, prolonged exercise at a high heart rates can spike your stress, having detrimental effects on what we’re looking to achieve.
That’s not to say high intensity exercise doesn’t have place in your routine. But if you’re using exercise to boost skin health, light and easy for most of your workouts is the way to go.
What to Aim For:
- 3 – 5 x per week
- 20 – 40 minutes per session
- Stay within 120 – 150 beats per minute (if you have access to a heart rate monitor)
No heart rate monitor? No problem. The talk test is an easy way to ensure we don’t go too hard. Check throughout your session that you’re able to string several words together comfortably, if you’re gasping for breath after a few words, back off the intensity. We want to finish each session feeling energised, ready to take on the world, not beaten into the ground.
Boost Your Blood Flow
You’re running along, your heart starts working a little harder, blood is being pumped close to your skin to help cool you. Increased blood flow brings with it a nourishing blast of oxygen and nutrients, leading to more skin health and vibrancy. Not only does blood flow flush out cellular debris – think, cleansing your skin from within – but, plays a part in skin cell regeneration, slowing down the aging process.
Stimulate Your Collagen Formation
Collagen combats wrinkles, providing your skin with structure, firmness and elasticity. Unfortunately, as we age our body throws yet another below-the-belt-punch at us, by producing less and less collagen. Want a way to punch back?
Aerobic exercise stimulates the formation of collagen, making it a fantastic tool to offset the natural downturn in production as we age. As with anything, don’t expect magic after one workout, enjoy the process, play the long game and the results will come.
Won’t Sweating Make Breakouts Worse?
To be clear: Sweating does not cause your skin to breakout.
Still in your running gear a couple of hours post run? Well, this can be a contributing factor to breakouts. Just be sure to thoroughly wash your face and body post workout and reap all the skin benefits cardio has to offer.
Looking for a kind way to wash your skin post-workout? You can’t go wrong with our Gorgeous range of Cleansers; made from organic, luxurious ingredients, free from parabens, sulphates and synthetics, makes our cleansers suitable for all skin types.