We all want better skin. Clear, healthy skin does more to boost confidence and overall appearance than almost anything else. While some of you out there are born with skin that naturally looks smooth and vibrant no matter what you do to it, for the rest of us, maintaining clear and healthy skin is a constant struggle. Skin is an outward display of dietary, genetic, and health factors – which means that it is possible to improve the condition of your skin with the right attitude and motivation. Staying away from salty, sugary, and fried foods is a method most of us are aware of, but what is less well known, are the advantages that a good workout can have on your skin.
The martial arts is one of the best options for those looking to get a workout with a practical purpose, and it varies so much in its offerings that there are regimens perfect for everyone from a hot-headed teenager to someone of retirement age looking to acquire new skills. This means that no matter your age, physical ability, or skill level, there is a substantial workout waiting for you in the martial arts. With that in mind, let’s explore just how a good workout can give you healthier and younger looking skin.
Sweating Skin is Healthy Skin
According to dermatologist Audrey Kunin, MD, having a good sweat in many ways is akin to a mini-facial. “When the pores dilate, sweat expels trapped dirt and oil. Just be sure to wash your face afterward, so the gunk doesn’t get sucked back into the pores.”
This viewpoint is backed up by dermatologist Ellen Marmur who often speaks on the link between exercise and healthy skin. She has touched on how increased exercise increases blood flow throughout the body. This increased blood flow has a number of benefits, not the least of which is the fact that it transfers necessary nutrients to the skin, as well as removing toxins from the area. “…by increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system…You can think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside.”
Dermatologists seem to agree that regular exercise is an effective way to ensure your skin stays invigorated with the nutrients it needs, as well as cleansing it inside and out – just remember to wash up afterward.
Martial Arts Is Perfect For Boosting Skin Health
Martial arts training has centuries of trial and error under its belt. Many of them, such as Muay Thai or BJJ, can give you an incredibly effective workout in less than an hour. These workouts usually promote a number of benefits like range of movement, balance, and allow you to quickly work up a sweat in a fun and challenging (both mentally and physically) environment.
While the dermatologists explained the basics of how exercise increases blood flow, therefore assisting in the skin’s natural processes, there have also been a series of recent studies that show how an intense workout can have a myriad of other benefits to the skin. It seems both endurance and strength training (both aspects covered by the martial arts) each provide their own benefits to the skin.
One study showed that endurance training helped reduce “Advanced Glycation End-Products,” these are proteins and lipids that can lead to inflammation and a number of other health issues. This reduction in inflammation has a number of benefits, including reducing the effects of aging on the skin (more on that later).
As far as the link between strength training and skin health, there is also quite a bit of literature on the subject. One of the most interesting statements on the link between strength training and skin health comes from a highly successful personal trainer, Dalton Wong. Wong asserts that cultivating lean muscle mass helps create “Lifted, taught looking, skin.” The right exercises will help tone your muscles, as well as toning your skin.
Another interesting bit of information worth touching on here is that exercise may also increase your body’s ability to heal from wounds and cuts. One of the major claims coming out of these recent studies is that exercise may lead significantly faster healing of a dermal wound. It is all still theoretical as to why this may occur, but the evidence seems fairly clear on the fact that it does.
It’s Never Too Late To Start
When you take a look at all of the scientific studies out there, one thing pops up more than anything else: Exercise will actively reduce the effects of aging on both your body and your skin.
A good example is a piece published with the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine that suggests “a person can slow the speed at which they age by exercising regularly… older adults receive the most benefits when combining endurance exercise with resistance exercise.”
In other studies cited by the Huffington Post, researchers found that people above the age of 40 who began to actively exercise had visibly younger looking skin – akin to someone in their 20’s or 30’s. No matter your age martial arts is perfect for you, we have already covered at length the beneficial effect martial arts can have, especially at an advanced age. Younger looking skin is only the beginning of all the ways you can look and feel better with the martial arts.
There is no reason not to start today, and expect to look just a little bit younger tomorrow.
So, no matter your age, if you are looking for an activity that is both fun, challenging, and can lead to healthier looking skin then martial arts is the answer. Sign up for a complimentary trial today to experience the benefits for yourself!
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