3. Get a Glowing Skin
Free radicals are unstable molecules of oxygen that have lost an electron that move around the body looking to replace this electron (it’s complex chemistry, but we just need to know that free radicals are not our friends!).
In doing so, they can cause damage to our cells and DNA, and if this damage is sustained, it can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can then potentially lead to chronic disease. Another consequence of free radical damage from oxidative stress is skin ageing.
Free radicals enter the body as a result of breathing in environmental pollution, smoking, eating processed, fried foods and from exposure to UV rays. The body also produces them as a natural consequence of bodily functions such as breathing and digestion. So it’s clear, we can’t avoid them! Luckily, the body has a way of defending itself against free radical damage, in the form of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, but we must eat a diet high in a variety of antioxidant rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.
When our antioxidant level is lower than our free radical level (there’s no real way to test this, we just need to make sure we eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables), we’re at risk of oxidative stress, which can damage the skin and cause dull, sagging or wrinkled skin.
But this is where regular, moderate exercise comes in! Excessive exercise is linked to an increase in free radicals and oxidative stress, but moderate exercise can increase our levels of antioxidants. So the good news is, we don’t need to overdo things in order to boost our skin health! There’s also the post-exercise glow when blood flow to the face is increased, giving us a healthy, inner radiance.