We all know the cardiovascular benefits of exercise; it keeps our hearts pumping and our bodies healthy, but did you know that exercise also keeps your skin looking its best, too? For reasons both known and unknown, exercise can fight wrinkles, keep skin looking fuller and give you a healthy glow.
A study recently covered in the New York Times found that exercise actually helped to reverse the signs of aging in sedentary volunteers. Older volunteers who identified as living sedentary lifestyles (less than an hour of exercise a week), then exercised for three months. When their skin was biopsied and examined under a microscope, it looked much more like that of a 20 to 40 year old – a thinner outer layer and fuller mid-layer as compared to their pre-exercise results. When we age, the outer layer of our skin grows thicker, which can give us dry, flaky skin. At the same time, the layer under our outside skin layer gets thinner, which reduces the strength and elasticity of our skin. Though the researchers aren’t sure exactly the mechanisms in the body that allow this to happen, the evidence points to exercise being a bit of a miracle for aged skin.
Exercise also moderates stress and the stress-related hormone cortisol. When the body produces too much cortisol, it breaks down collagen, which can leave you with crow’s feet or wrinkles. By managing stress-levels through exercise, not on will you feel better, but your skin will look younger. Moreover, by getting your blood pumping, you nourish your skin with oxygen, giving you a healthy and youthful glow.
Though there’s never been much debate that exercise is best for your health, now you have one more reason to exercise – youthful, glowing skin.