I am excited to say this is my first guest post and it comes from Tracy Griffen, a Personal Trainer and Author who lives here in Edinburgh. I'd highly recommend her book - its full of great tips, food and exercise ideas month by month (you can buy this book yourself, see Tracy's links at the bottom for details).
Want to look younger? Get outdoors, get some exercise and get your blood pumping.
As a Personal Trainer I am accustomed to tailoring fitness programmes to fit in with my clients busy lifestyles. Once they are exercising regularly (often outdoors), they notice all sorts of changes. One of the most immediate changes is that their skin becomes clearer. There are a number of reasons for this.
Increased cardiovascular (pulse raising) exercise gets the blood pumping around the body. More blood and oxygen pumping to the skin as well. This helps nourish the skin, and also assists in removing waste products, including free radicals. Aim for at least three sessions of 30 minutes or more weekly. Work at a pace where you feel slightly breathless, and yes, even a bit pink in the face!
I always ask clients to drink around 2 Litres of water a day. Get in the habit of sipping water (or herbal tea) throughout the day and your skin will thank you. Simply drinking more water helps to flush toxins from the body. Combined with exercise this process is speeded up. Drinking more water also helps speed up the metabolism, which is how fast calories are burnt. Good hydration is essential for plump-looking healthy skin.
Eat fresh! Eat the freshest food possible. Even better grow your own. Even if you only have a wee patch of communal garden, see if you can grow some herbs and salad leaves. Fresh green leaves are full of nutrients, and offer numerous health benefits. Gardening is good exercise and you can use your herbs in home made beauty preparations or herbal teas. Foodwise try to eat fresh fruit and vegetables or nuts and seeds (full of lovely oils, great for strong shiny hair and nails) as snacks instead of processed rubbish.
Exercising outdoors can be harsh on the skin, so remember to wear sunscreen. If anyone has a suggestion for a good non-greasy sunscreen that can be worn every day, please do let me know. I’m terrible for remembering to put on sunscreen and I’m outdoors for a few hours every day. Despite my negligence in the sunscreen department, people regularly guess my age to be at least 5 years less than it is. I’m 37, and the more I do my job (and the older I get), the more I realise that regular exercise can help keep us all feeling and looking younger. Your skin is a reflection of your internal health. Look after your internal wellbeing and your skin will reflect this. Become more energetic and you can develop radiant skin.
Personal Trainer Tracy Griffen runs Griffen Fitness, 3 Balfour Street, just off Leith Walk. She is the author of the newly published Healthy Living Yearbook, 192 colourful pages of seasonal fitness ideas and easy healthy recipes.