Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle - and it also helps keep your skin looking youthful, research shows.
A study published in the journal Science Advances found that exercise kickstarts the production of NRF1, a compound that helps revitalize and repair telomeres in your cells. Telomeres weaken and degrade as time goes on, but the study revealed that exercise - in this specific case, study subjects rode stationary bikes - caused increased levels of NRF1, giving cells a youthful boost.
"Keeping your cells young is important to allow tissues to function properly," said Anabelle Decottignies, professor of pharmacy and biomedical sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, in an interview with Allure magazine.
"You could see this like varnish on nails," she explained. "You cannot change your nails (telomeres), but you can change the varnish that protects them."
Exercise helps keep your cells - and skin - young. If you are feeling a little more inspired to hit the gym now, here are a few expert tips to try before your workout.
Grab A Gym Towel
There are some things in life you're just better off not knowing, like how a hot dog is made - and how many billions of bacteria are on those free towels at the gym is also one of those things. Before leaving your home, grab a towel to pat (not wipe) the sweat off during your workout. This simple act will help minimize breakouts and skin issues in the long run.
Minimize Your Makeup
When you're working up a sweat, it's important to let your skin breathe. "That's why it's a good idea to keep makeup to a minimum in the gym. If you must have a little something on, choose clear mascara and some tinted lip balm - anything else is likely to run off your face and clog your pores. You’ll thank us later.
Pop Travel Sizes Into Your Gym Bag
Try to use a gentle cleanser before and after your workout. If you do not have time to do it before, then keep a travel size in your gym bag to cleanse your face as soon as you can after your sweat session. It also does not hurt to have a travel-sized hydrating toner in there as well.
Apply Dry Shampoo
A thorough shower after a workout is the dream, but some days there just isn't time. Enter dry shampoo - it absorbs sweat, dirt and other oils in your hair to refresh strands, but don't wait until your workout ends to apply it. Spraying dry shampoo into your hair before bed helps absorb more oil, and the same principle applies to Pilates sessions. Spray dry shampoo onto your roots and massage it into your hair using your fingertips before you start your workout for ultra-fresh strands post-workout.
Style Your Hair Strategically
A little strategic thinking when you choose your workout hairstyle can save you frustration as you freshen up. A high ponytail is the classic option, but make sure you don't pull it back too tight, since this can cause breakage around the hairline. Braiding your ponytail and then pinning it into a bun is another great choice, since it keeps strands secure and out of the way. If you're planning on doing some superpowered cardio, slip on a sweat-absorbing hair band or wrap.
Take Care Of Your Muscles
A day before your workout, help soothe your muscles, so they are ready for an even more productive gym session the next day. By applying a muscle-relaxing gel that refreshes your body, you will be ready to take on your workout – with less soreness.
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