Exercise can do wonders for your skin and everyone should be definitely incorporating it into their lives if they haven’t already.

You already know exercise is essential to a healthy being. That is not news. You can eat like a champ and still not be a healthy human if you don’t exercise, and you can exercise like a pro and still not be a healthy human being if you don’t eat properly. Everything works together, remember?

Still doesn’t make it any easier to get off the couch though.

Some benefits of exercise that you should take note of:

  • It helps build your immune system. Better immune system = better health.
  • It raises serotonin. Higher serotonin = less feeling down in the dumps about your skin.
  • It lowers stress. This is absolutely key. Lower stress = less acne.

Exercise was a struggle for me when I first began my journey to clear skin. I was lazy! I’ve always had a quick metabolism and as a result, very thin (too thin, if you ask me). This is why I never paid any attention to my diet and never bothered to give exercise a second thought. Why would I?

Famous last words.

I started off by doing easy hatha yoga. This is a very relaxing, mild, strength building and stretching routine. Then I started jogging, working my way up to a half hour. Sometimes I bike ride or walk instead. Then I started incorporating a little bit of easy circuit training to build some lean muscle. I try to do this every other day or so.

I never thought I’d truly enjoy jogging, but now I really do (it gets way easier, believe me). I run in the woods in my hometown, or along the Stanley Park sea wall in Vancouver. I throw a little MMmBOP on my ‘pod and get pumped for life. Ooh ooh yeeah. (If you’re not so into Zac, Isaac, and Taylor, I recommend any embarrassing song you secretly love. Everyone has one, so don’t pretend otherwise).

To be honest, I’m no expert in exercise. I’ve always felt much happier after a good bit of exertion and some fresh air, but I’ve never been quite sure if I was doing the ‘right’ kinds of exercise, or enough of it.

But, for your benefit, I have done a little research, and it’s good news. The good news it that getting fit apparently does not have to be a painful struggle! Hooray!

It’s actually more effective to do less intense activities throughout your week (like 3-5 hours), with one or two body resistance seshes, than trying to pop your buns off at the gym every day. Prolonged high intensity workouts actually cause your body to increase the stress hormone instead of reduce it. This is certainly not what we want!

The good news too, is that you can group your hours of low intensity movement together. So you can go on a five hour hike on the weekend, and you’re done. Or you can do a half hour of sweeping and housecleaning every day and voila! You’re done! Throw some pushups, planks, and squats in there every couple days and you’re golden!

This also makes it easier than ever to incorporate your exercise into your day to day life without feeling like you have to go to the gym and then never doing it.

Walk to work. Take the stairs. Help someone move. Hike in nature with a friend (added stress-relieving social bonus here). Grow a garden. Go on a little bike ride or pull out those rollerblades. Walk to the grocery store and lug your groceries home. Go snowboarding or swimming! Go dancing!

So quit feeling overwhelmed and just start slow! Roll your play, duties, and exercise into one and it doesn’t have to feel like that dreaded word – work.

What do you like to do for exercise? Leave a comment below and let the world know!

photo by Vélocia