Seven tips to save your skin this summer

Boot Camp is typically about lifestyle change and exercising the body from the neck down. We write about HIIT, burpees, and the pros and cons of protein supplements.

But can health and wellness change the way you look? You already know the answer – yes.

Annually, I run a weight loss challenge starting in October, called Droptober. People are dropping weight, and every "wow, I've changed" email I receive tells me not just about weight loss, but specifically their new energy and health of their skin. They look different. They 'glow'.

Get your glow on

Looking to get a healthy glow going this summer? Here's how to get 'skin fit':

Exercise

A solid training session increases blood flow, and that flow nourishes skin cells and keeps them vibrant. Post training session, it's common to see an individual with that healthy skin 'glow'; that's because their body is circulating blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients. Further, incorporating weights into your session will tone and tighten your skin from head to toe.

Drink more water

Throughout the day, water loss occurs in our bodies, and it needs to be replaced. You can damage your body and replace water with unhealthy fizzy drinks and juice. Or, you can do your skin a favour and do it with its preferred liquid - plain old water.

Cut the crap

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Smokers damage their entire body by ingesting poison, and you can always tell a smoker by looking at their skin. Smoking can accelerate the skin ageing process. The Mayo Clinic stated: "The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A."

Alcohol wreaks havoc on your skin too, as it dehydrates cells all over the body, as do processed foods high in sugar. In the book 10 Minutes/10 Years, Dr Frederic Brandt stated collagen and elastin (protein fibres that keep your skin firm and elastic) are damaged by increased sugar intake, leading to dry, brittle, sagged, and wrinkled skin.

Ultimately, junk food and drinks bring junk energy – and that shows in the health of your skin.

Get more sleep

It's not called 'beauty sleep' for nothing. Nobody looks their best when they are tired, and we all need to get the recommended 7-8 hours per night. While sleeping, your skin creates collagen, and proper sleep decreases those "I'm so tired" dark circles.

Eat the right foods

I called nutritionist Kathleen Alleamue of The Right Balance to discuss her top foods for healthy skin and she stopped me at the start. She said, "for your skin, there's no one fish, raw this/that, or a Top 5 healthiest. There's no skin-miracle health food. That's a marketing thing.

"For healthy skin, eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. This brings variety in one's diet and a wider array of nutrients. Eat nuts and seeds, and get Vitamin C through food, as it boosts collagen production. I like healthy fats in olive oil, avocadoes and oily fish (salmon and tuna) as they reduce the inflammation of the skin that causes ageing."

Kathleen was firm about less processed junk and more real food. She said, "If it doesn't have a label, it's probably good for you and your skin."

Lead a balanced life in the sun

Sure, a tan is fashionable, but be careful as the sun's UV rays may cause sunburn, cancer, and accelerated ageing of the skin. However, some sun exposure is vital for all of us to obtain Vitamin D – fundamental for healthy bones. The Cancer Council says in summer months, most of us just need a few minutes' exposure (darker skin needs longer) in the sun per day to maintain our Vitamin D levels.

Jump in the ocean

I just left Byron Bay for a quick getaway, and I marvelled at the older locals that are in the water daily – they have vibrancy in their eyes and health in their skin. There's something about that salt water that breeds life. There's research that saltwater boosts circulation, white blood cell count, retention of moisture in the skin, and even testosterone.

Look after the skin you're in

Many consumers get facials and spend thousands on skincare and surgery, but if you're not watching what you put into your body, you're merely putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. No skin treatment or makeup can rejuvenate skin like doing what's right, fork-to-mouth. It's not just about 'looks', it's the window to your health.

Beauty doesn't come from Botox, facials and pricey skin creams. Beauty comes from the inside – your heart, soul, and the fuel you decide to put into your body.

Products aside, what do you do to look after your skin? Let us know in the comments section.

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

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