Exercise and Healthy Skin – The Art of Aging Well — Keeping your body in motion is good for you, inside and out. Exercise is healthy for every part of you, A group of three seniors/middle-aged people stretching, doing Tai chi in a park.from helping your body to run efficiently to boosting your mood and yes, improved skin. Will your skin return to its youthful glow of youth? Probably not. It’s a nice bonus, though, since you already know the importance of exercising throughout your life for a healthy life.

The benefits of exercise extend to our skin, as well as for the rest of our bodies.

Magic number 40

The age 40 seems to usher in changes in our bodies for many of us – including a thickening of the top layer of your skin, the stratum corneum. This is the layer of skin you see and touch every day. It experiences increasing dryness, flakiness, and density as you age as it is made up of primarily dead skin cells and collagen.

An image of a 40-year-old woman with short auburn hair and wearing a teal shirt over a pink one, smiling up at the cameraThe layer of skin beneath the epidermis, the dermis, will begin to thin, losing cells and elasticity. This gives the skin a more translucent often saggy appearance. This is a natural part of the aging process – even if you never spent any time sunbathing, your skin would go through this progression.

How is exercise related to my skin?

Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin cells, nourishing them and removing waste products and free radicals. The results can include improved skin health with more vitality.

This is a graphic rendering showing the layers of the epidermis.The reduced stress and cortisol levels associated with exercise can lower inflammation, preventing or improving conditions like acne, eczema, or psoriasis. In fact, exercising your body can cause your skin cells to experience improved mitochondrial function, potentially boosting energy production and repair ability in the skin cells. By toning and strengthening your muscles, you can help your skin to look smoother and firmer.

Exercise and Healthy Skin - an image of a happy couple smiling and laughing as they prepare a meal together.Hormone regulation can be affected by exercise, which, in turn, can help with the body’s oil production, collagen synthesis, and more.

A 2019 study found that resistance training increased the elasticity and thickness of the dermis layer of the skin in older adults, making it more similar to younger skin. Read about the study in Scientific Reports.

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