Sure, it's cool if your motivation for hitting the gym is to stay in shape, feel more energetic, or just boost your mood. But if you sweat so you can look and feel freakin' awesome, there's nothing wrong with that either. And have we got good news for you: working out will give your skin and hair a boost, too. Yep, exercising on the reg has some surprising beauty perks, says dermatologist Mona Gohara.
It Brightens Your Complexion
“You glow, girl” is what you'll be thinking when you look in the mirror after your next sweat sesh. Why? "Exercise increases circulation, which brings vibrancy to the skin," says Gohara. Another benefit of getting your blood flowing is that it delivers nutrients and water to your organs (including your skin), which results in a plumping effect. "You'll see more definition and firmness," says Gohara.
It Prevents Inflammation
There's a reason you feel calmer after you unleash your inner Rocky at the gym: Exercising lowers your coritsol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that's released by your adrenal gland, and it regulates how your body reacts to stress. "Reducing cortisol really helps with anti-aging since it helps prevent inflammation," says Gohara.
It Helps Keep You Clear Of Wrinkles
Lacing up your trainers also counteracts the skin problems that come with a diet that's high in refined carbs and sugar. "The more sugar you eat, the more likely you'll have to deal with fine lines and saggy skin," says Gohara. "But working out combats these complexion wreckers." Sugar damages collagen and elastin—essential building blocks for healthy skin—and can lead to wrinkles, she says. Luckily, working out helps lower your blood sugar levels, preventing the sweet stuff from taking a toll on your complexion.
It Cleans Out Your Pores
Say yes to sweat: signing up for your favourite indoor cycling or hot yoga class does wonders for your skin. "Sweating is a normal physiological process that helps release toxins from your body and cleanses pores," says Gohara. Even if you're acne-prone, it's beneficial since it helps reduce pimple-causing bacteria—just make sure to remove makeup beforehand. "Not only does leaving it on clog pores, but you also run the risk of pushing makeup particles deeper into your complexion if you rub skin with your hands or a gym towel," says Gohara.
It Tightens You Up
Low-impact workouts like barre, pilates, and yoga can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and any unwanted sagginess. "Non-jostling exercises help stop the appearance of ageing in the body since they increase muscle firmness and tone," says Gohara.
This article was originally published by Women's Health.