The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and is often overlooked when it comes to being fit and healthy. Stress, hormones, food, and sunlight can often have detrimental effects on the condition of our skin, causing wrinkles, acne, dullness, and other inflammation.  Surprisingly, exercise can be your secret weapon in the quest for beautiful skin.

One of the main causes of a poor complexion is stress.  Stress causes the body to release cortisol, which creates increased oil production in the skin.  The result? Acne.  Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, thereby reducing cortisol levels.  Regular physical activity also causes blood flow to regulate in the skin and helps tighten problem areas all over the body, reducing the appearance of loose skin and cellulite.

Another cause of skin problems is inflammation, which can create acne, redness, and dull looking skin.  Exercise makes you sweat and sweating actually helps your body purge toxins, resulting in skin that is smoother and more even.  The increased flow of oxygen and the production of good oils by exercising can make your skin healthier and more resilient.

There are a few things to consider when exercising if you want your skin to be healthy and beautiful.  First of all, if exercising outside, always use sunscreen.  Exposure to sunlight can cause wrinkles and other unsightly skin blemishes, and greatly increases your risk of skin cancer.  Another important tip is to never wear makeup when exercising because it can cause your pores to clog and form acne.  Always wash your face before AND after exercise.  If you use any type of gear when participating in sports, such as a helmet, always clean the equipment after use to prevent build up of sweat, dirt, and bacteria.

Skin health is not something that we think of when considering a workout program, but can be a positive outcome of exercise.  Being active and fit has many rewards beyond feeling better; it can help your body and complexion look fabulous, too!