It's hardly news that running and walking every day has endless health benefits. From maintaining your weight to improving your heart health, and even calming your mind, 30-45 minutes of exercise has been recommended by doctors and health practitioners for generations now. But, there's an unexpected benefit that might entice you, even more, to make sure you walk or go for a run every day—healthy glowing, younger-looking skin!
That’s right. Exercise is great for organ health and your skin is literally the largest organ of your body, weighing in at an average 3.6kg and 22sq ft in adults. So if you’re wondering is running good for skin? The answer is a loud and resounding yes. If you're not big on running, you should know that walking benefits for skin are also aplenty. Just make sure you make it part of your daily routine.
Beauty Benefits Of Walking Or Running Every Day
- Exercise Gives You A Natural Glow
There are many benefits of a morning walk for glowing skin. It's the perfect time to take in some vitamin D and get your blood circulation going to activate the skin. Who amongst us hasn't noticed that post-run glow? Flushed cheeks and a hydrated dewy shine make for the perfectly fresh-faced look.
Now, some parts of your skin may appear redder than others. This is very normal though. Your cheeks turn red because dilated blood vessels are expanding to release heat and cool down your body. A simple trick to reduce the redness is to dab a cold towel on the flushed areas. Also, don't forget to apply sunscreen.
- It Prevents Chronic Skin Conditions
Running reduces the production of cortisol, which is a type of stress hormone. This same hormone is responsible for chronic skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Just as when you’re stressed, these skin conditions cause an inflammatory response in your body, leading to flare-ups. Therefore one of the biggest benefits of jogging, running, walking, or any cardio activity for that matter, is that it helps calm your mind, regulates blood circulation, and reduces stress levels by releasing endorphins and happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.
- Running Improves Skin Health & Fitness
A key marker of good health and fitness is good blood circulation. Blood gets pumped through your body at a higher rate when you exercise, working out your cardiac muscles and circulating oxygen through the bloodstream. This oxygenation is like nourishment for the cells in your body, including your skin cells. Well-oxygenated skin cells have increased vitality and are more efficient at cellular repair and renewal. In short, exercise makes your skin healthy and fitter from the deepest level.
- It Has Anti-Ageing Benefits
Considering exercise helps your skin repair itself more efficiently at a cellular level, it slows down the visible signs of skin ageing. What's more, walking or running every day can also help boost collagen production (improving the elasticity of your skin) and minimise the effects of free radicals that cause skin ageing. Repair, renew, regenerate—exercise is one of the best ways to preserve your youthful appearance for longer.
- Brisk Walking Will Help You Sweat Out Toxins
It’s your liver’s job to detoxify your body but when it comes to your skin, exercise can be helpful to some extent. The increased blood flow when you walk or run helps flush cellular debris out of the system. It’s like cleansing your skin from the inside.
- It Boosts Vitamin D
If you're someone who runs or walks in the morning, the benefits of getting a good dose of Vitamin D cannot be stated enough. The shining sun is one of the best sources of Vitamin D, which in nature has anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent a variety of skin issues, including dryness, acne, psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo. That said, always use broad spectrum sun protection so that your skin is protected from harmful UV rays while it's absorbing some Vitamin D.
- Walking Or Running Can Prevent Acne
Exercise-induced acne breakouts on the chest, back, or forehead is known as acne mechanica. They occur because the friction between your skin and the workout gear you wear stimulates the production of excess oil, which in turn ends up clogging your pores. These clogged pores are what make you break out, not exercise.
Now on the flip side, by simply maintaining hygiene you can use the benefits of running or walking to actually prevent acne breakouts. Cardio exercises reduce stress, regulate blood sugar levels, and help balance your hormones, all three of which are underlying reasons for acne breakouts which never get dealt with.
- Prevents Signs Of Stress On Skin
The body's organs are shielded from external harm by your skin, which functions as the barrier organ. Unfortunately, the health of the skin shows signs of wear and tear when the immune system works overtime to keep the body healthy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and primed immune system can be achieved through regular exercise, in turn reducing the visible signs of internal body stress on your skin.
8 Other Benefits Of Running Regularly
When you exercise consistently, the quality of your life changes significantly. This is because there are so many wholesome benefits of running or walking every day. Here are some you may or may not have known about:
- Increases life expectancy
- Improves your sleep cycle
- Increases bone density
- Boosts your immune system
- Reduces risk of many cancers
- Improves mental health, boosting your self-esteem and confidence
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Improves cardiovascular (heart) health
5-Point Skincare Routine Checklist For Runners & Joggers
While running is great for your skin’s health and fitness, it may require you to be exposed to external elements that may be damaging to your skin. Here are five simple things you need to remember:
- SPF Is Your BFF
Being exposed to the harsh sun for long durations can seriously harm your skin. The harmful UV rays can deteriorate your skin health, leaving you with signs of ageing like dark sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin that looks like leather. So, always make sure you apply broad-spectrum sunscreen before you head out—minimum SPF 30. Be sure to reapply every two hours, and don't forget your ears, neck, lips, and body.
- Keep Your Hair Tied
Pull your hair back from your face and pin it in place when working out. You don’t want the sweat and dirt that gets caught and builds up in your hair to end up on your skin—it will just increase the chances of an acne breakout.
- Cleanse Before & After Your Workout
A good rule to prevent acne is to maintain hygiene by cleaning your skin before and after a run. Opt for a gentle cleanser pre-workout, and double cleanse post-workout to get rid of the dirt, grime, and even the sun protection off of your skin.
- Use A Serum For Added Benefits
Lightweight and easily absorbed, serums are a great targeted delivery system of nutrients for your skin. For example, this Anti-ageing Facial Oil Serum - CLEO is a great addition to your skincare routine to boost collagen, correct fine lines, tighten the skin, treat sun spots, and even fight acne-causing bacteria. It has the goodness of macadamia oil, which is a powerhouse of unsaturated fats and vitamins.
- Don’t Forget To Moisturise
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. This step is the key to locking in the nutrients and hydration you applied to your skin. A good moisturising routine will help slow down skin ageing in the long run, and the hydrated and plumping effects are visible almost immediately. Just make sure you choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type—gel-based for oily skin; buttery thick for dry skin; milk-based or creamy for normal skin; non-comedogenic and fragrance-free for sensitive skin.
To put it simply, skincare and running are quite similar. Both of them will only show you results when you are consistent. Invest in it today and enjoy the returns that keep on giving back—even in the long run.