When you are trying to improve your skin you don’t tend to think about fitness, right? Well, the two topics are actually more connected then you may think! Let me explain…
Stress isn’t the primary cause for breakouts but it can be trigger factor. How about we check out some of the science behind this?
The American Medical Association noted that around exam season students breakouts would worsen. This was due to variables such as changes in sleep & diet quality, meaning a less restful and shorter sleep & low quality diet with less meals per day. These changes in routine were associated with increased stress levels. Meaning that the increase in stress levels was directly contributing to the worsening of their skin condition.
We all feel stress in different ways, unfortunately when you have acne prone skin this can actually cause you to feel stressed and as a result worsen your skin. This cycle of stress = pimples = stress = pimples, to put it plainly, sucks.
Now to get to the fitness part. Regular physical activity has been shown as a way to reduce our stress levels. Researchers at the University of Vermont noted in a pilot study that the mood benefits of 20 minutes of exercise a day can last for up to 12 hours. Soooo, the point is - increased exercise = decreased stress = less spots!
Plus regular exercise is widely known to improve your overall health, so why not give it a shot?
Top 10 Ways to Exercise More
When I first started my fitness routine I had a lot of setbacks. Here’s some motivation that really helped me through my journey...
1. Just Get Started
The hardest part is always the first step. Rip the band-aid off, face the music, suck it up! Drag yourself out of your comfort zone ASAP - start off simple with a 10 minute walk tomorrow and build up from there.
2. Don’t Look to Others, Trust Yourself
Don’t let other people’s perceptions of the right body size or the perfect fitness routine affect your thinking. Use your own judgement and listen to your body. Trust yourself, and you will get it right.
3. Consistency is Key
Keeping fit is a lifestyle change not a quick-fix. There are no magic pills you can use to avoid the need for diet and exercise. Build good fitness habits, incorporate these changes into your routine and stick to them!
4. Focus on Yourself, Not Your Social Media
Don’t compare yourself to other people online (this one is super hard for me). Ignore the urge to post your heroic effort to becoming fit in order to get ‘likes’, remember you are doing this for you and no one else. Try to focus instead on the daily challenge of steady improvement.
5. Have Fun!
Instead of forcing myself to do something that I really hate, I decided to stick with the activities that I like. So now I no longer force myself to go jogging, I go for a very long walk. I might not not burn as many calories (as you know System Akvile is not about the quick-fix approach) but because I enjoy it I keep it up consistently which is more beneficial in the long-run (or the long-walk in my case!).
6. Set Short & Long-term Goals
Plan out your strategy and make it happen. Set your long-term goal first and then figure out a more manageable plan of action by incorporating bitesize goals to achieve your long-term one.
7. Do Something Active Every Day
There is no need to go to great lengths to stay fit (if that’s not your thing). Just try to do something active every day. Whether it’s a walk or an hour in the garden, give it a shot. Decades of studies show that only 30 minutes of moderate to intense daily physical activity can lower your risk for heart disease, depression and more.
8. Educate Yourself
Like I said, we can help you out with this - but you should still read blogs, scientific articles, follow skincare Instagram accounts, listen to podcasts and whatever else you can think of! Absorb as much information as you can. Knowledge is power.
9. Remember It’s a Lifestyle Change, Not Temporary
If you want to see real results you need to be serious. There are no magic pills you can use to avoid the need for diet and exercise. Build habits and incorporate these changes into your routine and stick to them.
10. Remember the Reward!
Baring all this in mind it’s still important to reward yourself for your good efforts and be naughty every now and then. Achieved all your fitness goals for the week? Have a movie day and snuggle on the sofa - my personal favorite ‘reward’!
I hope you guys are feeling motivated to start building up your fitness routine! If you want to know more about how fitness can affect your skin check this out.
Chiu, Annie, et al. “The Response of Skin Disease to Stress.” Archives of Dermatology, vol. 139, no. 7, 2003, doi:10.1001/archderm.139.7.897.
Faulkner, Guy E. J. Exercise, Health and Mental Health: Emerging Relationships. Routledge, 2010.
Sibold, Jeremy S., and Kathy Berg. “Mood Enhancement Persists For Up To 12 Hours Following Aerobic Exercise.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, vol. 41, 2009, p. 40.
Werle, Carolina O. C., et al. “Is It Fun or Exercise? The Framing of Physical Activity Biases Subsequent Snacking.” Marketing Letters, vol. 26, no. 4, 2014, pp. 691–702., doi:10.1007/s11002-014-9301-6.
Yosipovitch, G, et al. “Study of Psychological Stress, Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris in Adolescents.” Acta Dermato-Venereologica, vol. 87, no. 2, 2007, pp. 135–139., doi:10.2340/00015555-0231.