stretching in the sunshine

The Benefits of Daily Walks for Reducing Hormonal Acne and Stress

Category: Hormonal Acne

You may have heard the saying “The best things in life are free” and this is more than true when it comes to taking a daily walk. The benefits of walking are immeasurable, and we think it must be close to the best form of self-care there is. Walking reduces stress hormones, strengthens the immune system, boosts serotonin levels to help anxiety and depression, improves blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, and improves blood flow and cardiovascular health. And to top off all these benefits, walking is a great lifestyle treatment for hormonal acne.

The Sunshine Vitamin for Skin and Serenity

Walking during the sunlight hours of the day is super important because it cues your hormone systems. Going for a morning walk allows sunlight to enter your eyes and triggers your brain to switch from making melatonin (your sleep hormone) to making serotonin (your waking hormone). So make sure you don’t wear sunglasses on your morning walk.

Morning sunlight also stimulates the natural surge of cortisol that should occur after waking. This surge of cortisol prepares your body for the day ahead so you can cope with whatever stresses come your way.

A morning walk in the sunlight is also critical for cuing your sex hormone rhythm. Both female hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) and androgens (testosterone) rise and fall in sync with the day and night cycle. Sex hormone production peaks in the morning and falls to its lowest point in the evening. When we hormone test our acne patients, one of the most common hormonal issues we see on saliva and blood tests is low sex hormones. So going for a walk in the sunshine in the morning is an easy way to lift hormone production and keep your sex hormones in balance.

Another reason walking in the sunshine is amazing for your skin and helps reduce hormonal acne is because sunlight on your skin triggers the synthesis of Vitamin D. When UV rays in sunlight penetrate your skin they trigger cholesterol to transform Vitamin D. Vitamin D is super important for skin health because it acts as an antioxidant, so protects against damage, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory, so reduces redness. These two actions explain in part the acne clearing effect many people experience when they are in the sun and ocean on a vacation.

walking dog near a lake for hormonal acne

Fresh Air for Clear Skin

Taking a daily walk literally purifies the mind and the body. The physical act of walking stimulates blood circulation as your muscles pump blood throughout your body, flushing toxins from your brain, your organs and your skin. This purifying process reduces inflammation and promotes healing.

The skin receives a double benefit from a walk in the fresh air because lymphatic circulation is also enhanced. The lymphatic system carries nutrients to the skin and hormonal waste products away from the skin. This is so important for hormonal acne because sluggish lymphatic circulation can allow hormones like testosterone to accumulate in the skin and overstimulate oil glands, causing acne.

Physical Activity for Hormonal Harmony

As you probably have already experienced, taking a walk is fantastic for reducing your stress levels. When you walk, or do any moderate intensity physical activity for that matter, it centres your attention on what you are doing. This effect stops your mind wandering to your worries, anxieties and stresses. This in turn regulates stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) and prevents them from suppressing female hormones to keep your skin acne free.

Walking also helps balance your blood sugar and insulin levels by increasing blood sugar uptake into your moving muscles. This is such an easy way to prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes from triggering hormonal acne.

Finally, sweating during exercise helps unclog pores by removing dead skin cells, bacteria, and impurities. However, proper cleansing post-exercise is essential to prevent acne from clogged pores.

The Role of Stress Reduction and Mental Wellbeing

Walking isn’t just good for your body; it’s a natural remedy for your mind as well. Walking in nature has been scientifically shown to profoundly reduce feelings of stress while boosting feelings of peace and happiness, walking in nature has even been shown to be anti-aging.

No matter where you do it, in nature, in the city or in the gym, walking stimulates the release of feel good endorphins into your brain. These wonderful natural chemicals lift your mood and wipe away any feelings of stress.

walking to reduce hormonal acne

The Skin-Mind Connection

It’s a little known fact that the stress hormone cortisol directly increases skin oil production. Plus, cortisol also suppresses female hormone production, allowing hormones like testosterone to exert a greater effect on skin oil production and pimple formation. Together, these effects can be a significant driver of hormonal acne.

So keeping cortisol in check is one of the most important things you can do to get your skin pimple free. And walking daily is a super easy way to manage cortisol levels.

The Happy Hormone’s Impact on Your Complexion

Endorphins, so called happy hormones, released while taking a good brisk walk can provide a great positive effect on hormonal acne. The first way they do this is by lowering cortisol, thus stopping it from increasing sebum production.

Secondly, endorphins improve blood circulation to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to skin cells while aiding the removal of waste products.

Thirdly, endorphins also boost the immune system. This strengthens the body’s defences against infections that can contribute to acne.

Integrating Walking into Your Daily Routine for Hormonal Acne

Personally, I walk daily and the main reason I do is because I have dogs. So if you have a dog and you don’t walk daily already then start walking daily with your dog. It will be great for you and your dog’s health. If you don’t have a dog, don’t let that stop you. There are plenty of opportunities during the day to get a walk in. First thing in the morning is an optimal time to head out for a walk because you can get it done before anything else gets in the way of doing it. All it requires is for you to get up a bit earlier.

Another opportunity to go for a walk is at lunch time. Going for a walk at this time helps reduce any stresses that have built up during the day and also gets your blood and lymphatics circulating.

If you don’t have time in the morning or at lunch, but you use public transport then you can walk to and from the bus stop or train station. If you need to drive to your public transport stop, then park a good distance away as this provides an opportunity for a good walk.
But if all these don’t work for you, then you can walk at the end of the day. I usually walk my dogs both in the morning and in the evening. I find it very peaceful walking at night because there isn’t any traffic, and it’s quiet.

Daily walks would have to be one of the most holistic treatments for your health and your skin. They reduce feelings of stress, they reduce stress hormones, they boost feel good hormones, they oxygenate your cells and they enhance skin detoxification. Walking has so many positive effects that if you don’t walk daily already then it’s time to start. It will do wonders for your acne. And it’s FREE!

If you’re struggling with hormonal acne and you want to get it fixed naturally then contact us or click here to book an initial naturopathic consultation.

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