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Not Just for Your Muscles: Exercise Might Also Help Your Skin


Virtually everyone knows about the importance of pursuing an active lifestyle. Aside for tightening your waist and increasing muscle mass, scientists from Canada’s McMaster University believe that exercise could help your body’s largest organ – the skin.

Growing Thick Skin

The McMaster research team collected data from roughly thirty adults over a large age range (20 to 84 years of age). To eliminate the possible impact of skin damage, skin tissues samples were extracted from the adults’ buttocks. Upon reviewing these samples, the authors noted that the outer skin layer of older subjects was thicker than that of their younger counterparts.

In addition, the study also accounted for the adults’ physical activity levels, paying especially close attention to those over 40. Regular exercise was found to positively affect the skin of this particular group, causing it to age at a slower rate. In contrast, aged 40+ participants who led sedentary livies experienced faster skin aging.

Never Too Late to Be Healthier

But what about inactive, older adults? The McMaster University team found that starting up an exercise routine may undo the harsh effects of aging. Specifically, sedentary seniors saw the condition of their skin improve after starting a twice weekly workout. Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, the study’s senior author and a professor of pediatrics and exercise science, stated that while he didn’t “want to over-hype the results,” the reverse aging of skin tissue was “pretty remarkable to see.”

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