It is a completely free strategy and it will improve the rest of your health at the same time. Walking is also good fun as there are so many interesting places to explore, if you live in a rural area.
A good walk each day has the following benefits for your acne:
1. Walking slashes your stress levels
If you are stressed out then that is highly likely to be a big cause of your acne.
Stress induces an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, and that leads to insulin resistance and thus acne. Walking has been shown to lower stress hormones in several studies. Walking can also trigger a good increase in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is more commonly known as the happiness hormone.
Not only will more serotonin make you feel great, but it will also crush your cortisol levels if they are abnormally high. Therefore a daily walk is particularly valuable if you are stressed out.
However you’ll still get a good boost in your mood even if you don’t suffer from stress and that’s always a bonus in itself. As any frequent walker will know, going for a long and energetic walk makes you feel fantastic and this will prevent you from getting stressed later in the day.
2. Walking is a good way to get vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients there is for acne. It is important for controlling inflammation, it is needed for insulin to work properly and it has a ton of other acne-related functions in the body.
However, you can’t get enough from your diet; you have to get vitamin D from sun exposure, and that makes a daily walk an excellent way to increase your levels. As you walk in a sunny field or park, the sunlight will be hitting your skin and that triggers a reaction in your body that creates vitamin D.
If you’ve read this article then you’ll know that getting plenty of vitamin D is an important plank of your acne-clearing strategy, and a daily walk is a ridiculously simple way to achieve that.
You do of course need to go somewhere where there’s actually sun, so pick a sunny field rather than a forest. You can go to the forest for part of your walk but make sure a good portion of it is in a sunny park or some other open space.
You actually don’t need to walk for very long to make the most of this benefit; with moderate sun exposure your body can manufacture 10,000IU of vitamin D in just 15 minutes.
By comparison, the average supplement contains just 1000IU. Remember to go in the middle of the day as the sun will be highest in the sky, which allows your skin to make as much as possible.
3. Walking can combat inflammation
Many forms will cool it down, but a select few can actually make it worse. The bad types are prolonged, intensive exercise like uphill cycling for hours on end.
The good news is that walking falls firmly into the healthy category. Scientists in this study examined the inflammatory markers of 185 men and women. They discovered that inflammatory chemicals such as interleukin-6 were significantly lower in the volunteers that engaged in daily walking.
Other studies have shown similar results from moderate exercise, and that’s the category that a brisk walk falls into. This is extremely important because inflammation is one of the biggest causes of acne. Put simply it is when your immune system pumps out too many inflammatory chemicals. This then causes the inflammatory response to bacteria in your pores to be overly powerful, and that causes your pores to redden and swell up into a pimple.
Preventing inflammation should be one of your top priorities and from those studies it seems that walking is an excellent way to do that.
4. Walking can combat insulin resistance
Insulin stimulates your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum and that gets your pores blocked up. Walking is a great way to prevent that from happening as one of the key causes of insulin resistance is insufficient exercise. The glycogen (energy) stores in your body get full and cannot accept more energy, so your body has to pump out more insulin to try and cram more in.
Walking and indeed any form of exercise prevents that by using up the energy in those stores and thus making there less need for high insulin in your body. This study found that most forms of exercise including walking were able to treat insulin resistance.
That means that if you’re not healthy enough or don’t have the money or time to engage in heavy exercise, then walking is still a great option for you. A daily walk will eventually help to reduce the amount of oil your skin produces and great improvements in your acne will subsequently appear.
It should be clear from those arguments that a daily walk can have good benefits for your acne. It won’t cure you completely but it is yet another weapon in your acne-curing arsenal.
Walking also has the excellent advantage of being completely free. Sitting down for long periods of time has also been linked to increased inflammation, so you can get good benefits by simply replacing half an hour of TV each day with a walk in the park.
It’s also best to walk for at least half an hour. I have consistently found that the mental benefits are not as great if you go for two shorter walks compared with one longer walk, for example. Going at midday is also preferable because it allows for the greatest vitamin D production; you could do this at the weekend or maybe go for a walk at your lunch break.
Finally, going for a good walk each day will make you feel fantastic if you keep it up. I go for a walk at least once day, so I am used to the great feeling and don’t notice it so much anymore. However if for some reason I don’t go walking, then the difference in my health and mental abilities is enormous.
My recommendation is at least half an hour of walking per day, in one session. You can do more if you have the time and that will enhance the mental benefits even further.
Thanks for reading!