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Does Regular Exercise Make Acne Better Or Worse?

Posted Jun 14 2009 10:10pm

skater I just went for a skate along the Brisbane river and it was beautiful. I stopped half way at a quiet spot and did a 30 minute music meditation in the sun. I took my skates off and sat on one of them to help support my straight back and it was surprisingly comfortable.

Once a week I skate with a group but I go out on my own once or twice a week as well. I also walk or bike ride two or three times a week, often with a girlfriend. I’m definitely not at my peak level of fitness but this regular exercise certainly does help keep a healthy body and healthy mind.

I get asked all the time weather or not exercise is good for clearing acne. And while the answer isn’t black and white - if you do exercise every day it’s not guaranteed to clear your acne, it still certainly does help.

Why exercise is good for the skin

We all know that regular exercise is good for our health and good for our bodies, so of course it’s good for our skin. This is nothing new. Some resources I’ve read in the past also claim that the extra sweating during exercise can either help acne or make it worse, but personally I don’t feel as though this makes much of a difference.

BUT, the way that I personally feel exercise is most beneficial to the skin is for creating a healthy mind and a more positive attitude towards your problem skin. Sounds a bit trippy I know but let me explain.

I know from personal experience that whenever I’m feeling down or depressed, regular exercise is one thing that helps pick me up. Just getting my body moving, the blood flowing and my mind distracted helps tremendously.

Revisiting the mind/body connection

I blogged only recently about mindset and how important a positive mindset is for a healthy relationship with food and for clearing the skin. Mindset can also be extended to the image you have of yourself and of your skin.

I read countless emails from people telling me that they spend hours looking at their skin in the mirror, how they wake up in the morning and the first thing they do is check their skin and how their acne is always on their mind. And I know these people are telling the truth because that was me once too. I lost hours of my life staring at my skin in front of the mirror. It seems so pointless and stupid now but at the time I just couldn’t seem to keep myself away.

One thing I found that helped “fix” my unhealthy attitude towards my skin was (yes you guessed it) regular exercise. Something about the blood pumping around my body and my heart rate going up really does help to create a positive frame of mind. While you’re exercising you’re also distracting your mind and focusing on something else so you don’t have time to think about your skin. It’s nice sometimes just to forget about your acne and focus on something else that’s positive in your life, something that’s actually constructive not destructive to your health and well being.

I also always feel like eating healthy food after I exercise. I’m not entirely sure how that works but it does. The last thing I feel like eating after a skate or a bike ride is a big chunk of mud cake, I’d rather have a fresh juice or a savory meal.

So as you can see, regular exercise is just one piece of the holistic puzzle to healthy skin. Because the regular exercise helps to create a positive attitude towards your problem skin and if you’re like me, it even helps you eat better!

Choosing exercise that’s right for you

I like to exercise with other people because I’m a social person, but this isn’t for everyone. You need to find something that fits well with you. I discovered rollerblading about three years ago now and while it is considered a little lame in some circles, I love it and find it an awesome way to keep my fitness up and tone my body at the same time.

Walking I discovered about two years ago when I started going with a friend. Sometimes it’s more gossiping than walking but we always end up having a bit of a workout. And cycling is something I’ve always loved. If not just for exercise, sometimes it’s a great way just to get around. It’s fantastically good for the environment and you’re solving two problems at once - how to get from A to B and how to fit your exercise routine into the day. For a while when I worked in an office I was even riding to and from work.

There are plenty of other ways to exercise - try the gym, join a sport team, do laps in the pool, take up running …just go with what sounds FUN because that’s the most important thing!

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