By Batista Gremaud
Exercise improves the health and appearance of your skin and makes you look more rejuvenated.
After age forty, our skin naturally changes, resulting in wrinkles, crow's feet, and sagging. The top layers, composed mainly of dead skin cells and some collagen, get drier, flakier, and denser with age. In contrast, the layer beneath the epidermis begins to thin and lose elasticity, giving the skin a saggier look.
These changes are autonomous of any skin damage from the sun. It appears they are exclusively the result of aging and a sedentary lifestyle.
Exercise increases blood flow, which helps nourish and keep skin cells healthy.
In addition, it enables the flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. It removes waste products by flushing cellular debris out of the body, effectively cleansing the skin from the inside out.
Note: Although some people may claim otherwise, exercise alone cannot detoxify the skin. The liver is primarily responsible for neutralizing toxins.
Stress Less, Look Better.
Reducing stress through exercise can also help improve conditions like acne and eczema. Researchers are still investigating the link between stress and skin; studies have shown that stress hormones can influence the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin.
Dermatologists say regular exercise helps improve your skin because firmer muscles give your body a more toned look.
"Exercise keeps you looking young - even under a microscope!"
Research at McMaster University in Ontario conducted by Dr. Tarnopolsky on mice concluded that the sedentary rodents rapidly shriveled and became ill, demented, and graying or bald. However, those given access to running wheels maintained healthy brains, hearts, muscles, reproductive organs, and fur far longer than their sedentary labmates. Moreover, their fur never even turned gray!
Further research on human volunteers reported that active participants who worked out at least three hours every week retained skin similar to 20 and 30 years old even if they were past age 65. At the same time, the sedentary group displayed definite signs of aging.
They found that contracting skeletal muscles produce Myokine substances called interleukin 15 (IL-15). Increased amounts of these proteins were noticed in those individuals who exercised frequently. When Myokine IL-15 enters the bloodstream, they jump-start cellular changes and accelerate healing from skin damage.
Middle-aged participants were amazed that under a microscope, the active volunteer's skin looked like that of a much younger person; all they had done differently was exercise.
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Healthy Body, Fabulous Skin
Scientific research is just scratching the surface of the benefits of exercise, tied to the production of IL-15, on the skin's health, appearance, and resilience.
"The researchers presume that other myokines and substances are also implicated in the skin changes related to working out," Dr. Tarnopolsky said, making it doubtful that any IL-15 pill, salve, or injection will replicate the skin benefits of exercising."
Key to Looking Young
Exercise has many benefits for our overall health, including reducing the risk of lifestyle-related diseases. Additionally, it is good for our heart, lungs, and brain, which are organs.
We often forget that the skin is the second largest organ in the body. (The first is skeletal muscle, an overlooked key to longevity, according to Dr. Gabrielle Lyons.)
Exercise is also good for our skin.
Caution! Avoid sun exposure and sunburns when exercising outdoors!
Beware of sun exposure. Sunburns increase skin cancer risk and rapidly age the skin, erasing any benefits your skin might get from exercise.
When outdoors in the sun, generously apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) with active ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide to overexposed areas. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
Time and Money Spent on Exercise Beats Spending on Lotions and Potions
While potions and lotions can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and make you look younger, if you don't exercise, your age will show in other parts of your body, such as your hands, posture, and how you walk.
According to Statista, 1.68 million Americans spent at least $500 on skin-care products in the fourth quarter of 2020, which is an average of 2,000 per year per person!
You can benefit your wallet by spending money more wisely.
The knowledge that exercise can help keep your skin looking younger is a great motivation to start including an exercise program in your daily routine!
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Batista Gremaud is the CEO and president of Dr. Fitness International, International Body Designer, Strength Training Expert, No1 Best Selling author of Feminine Body Design, Empowering Fitness For A Pain-Free Life, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training mentoring system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding, and producer of the Dr. Fitness USA’s show; Recipient of the most outstanding fitness program 2019 by The Winners Circle, Mastermind at Sea.
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