How Mind and Body Work Together to Give You the Glow
Have you ever thought about why your skin has a glow during or after exercising? Yes, it could be from sweat. But even if you’re not sweating, you might observe glowing skin – it looks and feels great. While it’s your skin that is visible, the glow from exercising could stem from what’s happening in both your body and mind. Let’s take this integrative medicine approach in thinking about exercise and glowing skin based on research studies that show that there are many benefits of exercising - some of which contribute to the skin glow during and after exercise.
"The next time you exercise and you notice that your skin is glowing, consider that it could be due to both your mind and body."
Mind: For many of us, we may notice that we are in a better mood after exercising. Exercise has been shown to decrease stress and depression. One way this happens is through the autonomic nervous system, which is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Exercise decreases the sympathetic nervous system (flight or fight) and increases the parasympathetic system (rest and digest). Feeling less stress and having an elevated mood both contribute to an inner sense of peace. When we are happy, we seem to have a glow.
Body: Physical activity contributes to glowing skin by increasing blood flow in our body, including blood flow in the skin. When we exercise, our heart rate increases, and that gets our blood moving, which can lead to glowing skin. Since our heart is the organ responsible for blood flow, we could also think about how exercising is beneficial to your heart. Through physical activity, your blood has less sticky platelets, which means your blood is less likely to clot, and that reduces the risk of a heart attack. In addition, exercising lowers your blood pressure, decreases inflammation, and increases the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Exercising is good for the heart and good for glowing skin.
The next time you exercise and you notice that your skin is glowing, consider that it could be due to both your mind and body.