Taking care of your skin may seem low on your priority list in today’s busy world. After all, it’s mostly just there to keep harmful UV rays and toxins from penetrating your skin and harming your cells. But your skin is actually an extremely complex organ that regulates your body’s temperature, produces vitamin D, gets nutrients, and heals itself, among other vital functions. While we typically think of our skin covering our bones and muscles, the epidermis, or the outer layer of our skin, is actually the largest organ in our body.
We eat, breathe, and sleep, so let’s face it—we spend a lot of time thinking about food! We also know that exercise is good for our bodies and our minds. But how much exercise is too much? And is this good advice for everyone? The relationship between physical activity and our skin health is complex, and not all physical activity is created equal, but exercise is beneficial to our skin health.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it’s the one we interact with the most. From head to toe, our skin acts as a barrier to harmful substances, protects us from harsh elements, and helps to regulate our body temperature. Yet, the skin is also the first place to look when trying to detect health problems.
Skin health is an important aspect of overall health. A healthy, well-functioning skin reflects a healthy body. Regular exercise can positively impact your skin as it provides physical benefits such as weight control, bone health, and cardiovascular health. Additionally, physical activity helps maintain mental and emotional health and is an essential component of living a healthy lifestyle.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and it serves two major purposes: a protection system for organs and soft tissue and a sensory organ. From an energy perspective, the skin serves as a thermal regulator by controlling heat (when heat is removed from the body, the skin radiates that heat) and keeping the body cool (when heat is introduced to the body, the skin absorbs that heat). Therefore, skin health relies on maintaining a balance between these two functions, and it helps maintain healthy skin.
Healthy skin consists of many layers. The outer layers, the epidermis, and dermis protect the underlying layer, the hypodermis. The epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin, is made up of skin cells that are continuously shedding. With healthy skin, skin cells are replaced every 28 days. The dermis, or the second layer of the epidermis, is thicker and contains skin cells that provide support and structure. The hypodermis, or the third layer of the epidermis, is the deepest layer of the epidermis and contains fat, collagen, and elastin. The hypodermis is responsible for providing strength and flexibility to the skin.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that over 70 percent of adults are not getting enough physical activity. That’s little surprise, given that more than 250 million Americans do not exercise at all, and nearly 60 million do not exercise for at least 150 minutes per week (the recommended time for health benefits). But even though we are such inactive people, our skin is telling us a different story.
Your skin is your largest organ; protecting it from damage, sun damage, and disease is vital to your overall health. And the best way to get your skin in tip-top shape is by exercising. Exercising regularly may help to improve your skin’s moisturization, elasticity, and appearance. It may also help reduce acne and wrinkling, relieve and prevent knee pain, improve mental health, and boost your immune system.
Numerous studies have found that regular physical activity is good for your health. It can reduce your risk of early death and chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. And it can be good for your skin, too. Physical activity can reduce your risk of skin cancer, as well as acne, eczema, and rosacea.
The CDC’s recommendation for adults is to get 2 hours (150 minutes) of aerobic activity at moderate intensity or 1 hour (75 minutes) of aerobic activity at vigorous intensity every week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity helps your heart and lungs function better, improves your mood, and keeps you more fit.