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Exercise your way to beautiful skin!
Brinda Sapat
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March 07, 2008

Each one of us yearns for skin that has a luminescent glow. Expensive creams, lotions, potions, facial treatments and more -- we've tried them all only to see negligible results.

The good news is that your skin's everlasting glow doesn't take appointments at a beauty clinic and is not a result of skin products. It comes with a wee bit of hard work and care that needs to be woven into your regular lifestyle.

 The formula is simple: Exercise + Healthy eating = Great skin 


Although you need a combination of cardiovascular exercise, weight training and flexibility for a fit body, the only workout you need for your skin to glow is cardiovascular exercise (walking/ aerobics/ cycling/ swimming).

 ~ How does it help?

When the body is undergoing a cardiovascular workout, the heart and lungs are pumping oxygen-rich blood vigorously. This blood travels all through your body supplying oxygen and it is what makes your skin look flushed at the time of exercise, after which you are left with a healthy and soft glow.

~ How often should you exercise and what should be the duration?

Work out at least 3 times a week for 45 minutes minimum. Your pace should be brisk and non-stop.

~ What kind of cardiovascular exercise should I opt for?

The choice is yours! Pick whichever form you enjoy most. If you like being by yourself, walk, cycle or swim. Group exercise like aerobics classes are a good option for fun-loving people, or if you like dancing and a variety of routines.

You can also do a mix of exercise styles.

~ Fringe benefits!

The big one is fat burn! That's one of the nice things oxygen does for you! The other great thing is that it makes you live longer by strengthening your heart and lungs.

Psychological effects include feeling confident and simply feeling good post-exercise!

Eat healthy

Foods that are good for your health are good for your skin, too! Healthy foods and plenty of water allow your body to function better and prevent a build-up of toxins (it's like using good fuel for your car), making your skin look fresh and glowing all the time.

~ A sample meal plan for beautiful skin

Bowl of cereals with skimmed milk
Juicy fruit (oranges, lemons, strawberries, grapes etc)

Handful of nuts and dry fruit

Stir-fried vegetables of your choice. Include a range of colours -- red, green, yellow etc. Eat with bread/ rice/ pasta/ roti. Cook veggies in light olive oil. Olive oil has fatty acids that are good for the body and skin.
Whole grain sandwich with mixed vegetable/ fish stuffing.

Evening snack:
Bowl of mixed fruit with a low-fat yoghurt topping
Vegetable strips (carrots/ radish/ capsicum/ french beans) with a low-fat yoghurt dip, or any other light dip of your choice.

Roasted/grilled/steamed fish. Paneer/mixed lentils for the veggies.
One portion of rice/ roti/ pasta/ bread
Boiled vegetables
Salad with lots of leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, aragula added to other veggies of your choice. Drizzle a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon and salt.

More tips!

~ Drink a lot of water through the day especially before, during (only sip, don't gulp!) & after exercise.

~ Avoid colas and opt for fresh lime soda or water and natural juices. A glass of red wine is also good for the skin!

~ If any food you eat feels heavy, it's most likely not good for your skin, so choose lighter foods.

~ Stay away from fried, oily, sweet or processed foods. The fresher and more lightly cooked, the better.

Skin-care products and treatments

Any product or treatment only works on the first couple of layers of the skin. So while you might notice some difference, it will be temporary. Of course it helps to keep the skin clean, slough off the dead cells and moisturise to keep it looking dewy.

So do go ahead and enjoy your treatments as well, but remember that they only compliment your exercise and eating routine, which is secret of a real glow!

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