We all know that exercise does wonders for our body. The benefits of leading a healthy, active lifestyle are numerous and, although it may be harder than sin to drag yourself out of bed for that early morning workout, I’m fairly certain no one ever regrets it doing it after they’re done. The satisfaction of completing that circuit, going the distance or pushing through your PB can literally be seen written all over your face. But the rewards of exercising transcend far beyond just dropping those kilos or cultivating your six-pack.

Scientists are beginning to understand the multitude of subtle effects that exercising has on our bodies - some of which, we actually have no idea are linked at all…. perhaps you are sleeping better… maybe your hair is shinier or you are feeling less anxious?? Exercising affects every cell in our body long after we put down those weights. 

One of the more visible benefits is the effect it has on our skin. Our skin is our largest living organ, made up of billions of skin cells and blood vessels. So, like every other organ in our bodies, it needs nourishment and nutrients to thrive.

You’ve just finished your workout, your heart is beating like a Metallica drum solo and you crawl to the bathroom to catch your breath. You peer into the mirror and after the initial shock of seeing that exhausted sweaty face staring back at you, you notice that your skin has taken on a kind of golden sheen. You are literally glowing!!

This is no accident, believe me. When you get your heart really pumping, you deliver a flood of newly oxygenated blood to the living layers of your skin and skin cells. Your circulation is firing and you start producing more natural oils thus giving you that gorgeous “glow”.

Exercise can also help regulate skin-significant hormones and prevent free-radical damage. When we get stressed where is the first place it shows? On our faces… Dark circles, sagging skin and a pasty pallor are not a healthy person make.. and this can be due to elevated levels of the stress-hormone Cortisol. Regular exercise can help maintain healthy levels of this hormone and also supports the production of collagen which can help keep your skin stay firm and supple-looking. 

Ever wondered where “sweat” actually comes from?? And why we do it?? Sweating is actually our body’s natural cooling system. When our body temperature increases, our pores secrete sweat to remove excess heat and waste from our skin through evaporation. So.. if you think about it, sweating is actually like having a mini-facial. Imagine those pesky little blackheads that you just can’t seem to get rid of… sweating can push the impurities out from your pores. It’s important to note however that you must wash your face immediately after working out to ensure that the gunk doesn’t get sucked back in!!

And finally… exercise just makes you FEEL GOOD!! You’ll have a spring in your step and your energy levels will sky rocket. And sooner or later you’ll be rocking around town with a giant grin on your face. Laughter is the fastest and easiest way to elevate your mood and help you look and feel amazing. When you smile with your whole face it’s like an instant facelift!!!! And the more you do it the better it gets… so turn that frown upside down and laugh your way through your next gym session!!

A Few Things to Note...
* Always remember to protect your skin from the sun and wear a broad spectrum sunscreen whether you are working out indoors or out. 
* Try to avoid wearing makeup while working out. You want to try and get rid of dirt on your face, not add to it!
* Carry some alcohol and fragrance-free cleansing wipes with you in your gym bag to gently wipe down your face immediately after your workout.
* Wash your hands thoroughly after working out before you touch your face. You don’t even want to know what bacteria lurks on communal gym equipment… yuk.
* Be aware of too-tight clothes and skin chafing - it you are going to be sweating a lot make sure you are in some comfortable gear.
* If you are swimming in a chlorinated pool then make sure you rinse off in some fresh water immediately after you get out - the chemicals used in pools can be quite irritating and drying for some skin types.

Check out my other fitness tips on the Jurlique website -