The advantages of exercise do not stop there. Getting wrinkles may be an inevitable part of aging, but scientists have discovered that you may be able to maintain your skin's youth—and without pumping it full of chemicals (hurrah!). New research from McMaster University in Ontario has found that exercise could not only keep skin younger but may also even reverse skin aging in people who become more active late in life.
In a study for The Anatomical Society, researchers investigated two different groups of men and women between the ages of 20 to 84. Half of the volunteers had an active lifestyle, participating in about three sessions of exercise per week. The other half of the group exercised for less than an hour per week. The study found that those over 40 had skin compositions closer to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age who do not exercise regularly, even if they were past age 65.
How exercise changes our skin is not yet completely understood. The scientists checked for alterations in the levels of substances called myokines, which are created by working muscles. These substances enter the bloodstream and jump-start changes in cells far from the muscles themselves. The scientists found much higher levels of a myokine called IL-15 in the skin samples of volunteers after exercise, which may explain the skin's youthful appearance.
So, what are you waiting for? We'll see you at the gym.