When you’re constantly stressed out, you do not just increase your risk of heart disease but also affect the way your skin appears. Stressed or tired skin doesn’t look good. There’s dryness, redness, breakouts, and fine lines are more apparent. This has something to do with how the stress hormone cortisol affects the skin.
The hormone damages the skin’s ability to hold water, making it dry. Compared to a well-moisturized skin, dry skin makes fine lines more visible. The hormone cortisol makes it worse as it raises the blood sugar level, which in turn, damages the collagen and elastin. These are protein fibers needed to make the skin look plump.
Eye puffiness and dark circles under the eyes are also common in those with tired skin. This happens as stress can affect one’s sleep.
Improving Tired Skin Through Exercise
There are different ways to improve tired-looking skin. One of which is by learning effective stress management. This can be done through meditation, yoga, or simply getting into a new hobby.
You can also do it by getting enough sleep. It’s during sleep that the body heals and restores itself. When you’re not getting enough sleep, the body and the skin cannot heal. You look tired which only worsens the way you feel after a sleep-deprived night.
Another effective method of improving your skin is through exercise. It’s an often-overlooked way of improving tired skin.
There are several ways in which exercise benefits your skin. These include the following:
Exercise clears the skin
The effect of exercise on the skin is the complete opposite of what stress does to it. If stress leads to breakouts, then exercise helps clear it.
When you’re working out, the pores dilate and the sweat helps expel the trapped dirt and oil. So, running or getting into your elliptical is like getting a facial, only that you’re breaking a sweat and doing something that’s both good for the skin and the body.
Exercise makes the skin more radiant
People who work out regularly can notice the immediate glow on their skin. This results from the increase in oxygen and nourishment supply in the skin.
The skin gets its nourishment from the tiny capillaries found beneath the skin. When you exercise, there’s a boost in blood flow, pushing the oxygen, vitamins, and minerals into these capillaries. The skin needs oxygen and these nutrients to heal itself. So, the more you work out on a regular basis, the more radiant your skin becomes.
Exercise reduces the appearance of wrinkles
Exercise is a good way to manage stress as it helps maintain a healthy level of the stress hormone. Cortisol can cause the skin’s collagen to break down, making the skin more prone to sagging and wrinkling.
Aside from keeping the stress hormone in check, exercise also promotes the production of collagen. This boost in collagen production makes your skin more supple, elastic, and young-looking.
Exercise makes the skin look younger
A group of researchers from McMaster University in Ontario found out that exercise can help delay the signs of skin aging. The researchers, who initially conducted an experiment with animals, found out that subjects who exercised regularly have better, younger-looking skin.
Researchers suspect that myokines (substances known to enter the bloodstream) play a role in the changes they observed on the skin. These substances are only produced by the working muscles.
Experts suggest that if you want to make the most of the benefits of exercise for your skin, then it’s best to focus on resistance training. These are groups of exercises that use your own body weight to challenge different muscles. Some examples of resistance training include lunges, doing planks, and pushups.
Skin experts also warn about excessive cardio training. According to them, too much cardio isn’t good as it stresses the body, leading to the production of cortisol. Like everything else, moderation should still be observed in working out.