We all covet the fresh-faced look of our youth, and although many products tout their ability to give you that glow, there’s another unexpected strategy that can also have this effect. Exercise is not only great for your internal health, but it’s also great for the health of your skin. Recent research suggests that people who exercise regularly have younger skin and regular exercise can even reverse skin aging to a certain extent for older people. Intrigued? Read on to find out more about how your skin can benefit from exercise.
The study that led to these findings was conducted at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. They first conducted studies on mice, which showed that mice who exercised didn’t experience internal or external aging the same way mice who were sedentary did. This led them to wonder whether exercising could have the same effects on humans. They conducted another study with adults of both genders and a wide variety of ages. Half of the participants exercised regularly while the other half did not. Researchers found that the skin in the participants that exercised was much healthier and was similar in composition to the skin of someone in their twenties or thirties, regardless of their actual age.
The researchers weren’t able to determine precisely why exercise was so beneficial for skin health, and further work is currently being done to determine where the exact benefits stem from. However, it is believed that myokines, which are internal substances generated by activating your muscles, could have something to do with it. In particular, a myokine called IL-15 was present in the skin cells of many of the study participants. However, this would be very difficult to replicate synthetically – the best way to get these anti-aging benefits is to work out regularly.
In addition to the composition of your skin looking younger, there are some other skin benefits to exercising. Exercise is excellent for keeping your skin clear and free of acne. This is because it increases your circulation, which can help prevent toxins from settling in your pores. Better circulation also gives your skin a healthy, glowing look. Exercise also produces endorphins in the body, which help keep your hormones balanced and reduce feelings of stress. Because of this, it can mitigate hormonal breakouts and breakouts brought on by stress, which are quite common.
If you don’t currently exercise, the skin benefits it can provide makes for the perfect incentive to start. If you typically struggle with exercise, start with just a gentle walk, or try taking a workout class you’ve never tried before. You can also try working out with friends or family, which is a great way to distract yourself if you don’t usually like to exercise. Just adding a short workout into your routine four or five times a week can make a big difference in your skin and prevent unwelcome damage and aging on your skin.