It will probably come as no surprise that people who exercise have healthier looking skin. We could put this down to the fact that this group eats healthier food, have lower stress levels and generally look after themselves better. It is also known that exercise stimulates the circulation and lymphatic draining. Having a workout in Darwin’s 300C + heat probably also helps by providing a mini-sauna effect!!
But seriously, researchers have revealed that exercise increases markers of our immune system known as IL-15 (interleukin). IL-15 plays a role in immune function but also brings about changes to the skin’s mitochondria. Mitochondria are the bodies powerhouses that assist with cellular respiration.
Mitochondria are found in all cells of the body (especially muscle cells) and the more you have the healthier you tend to be. The researchers hypothesized that a sedentary lifestyle resulted in less stimulation of these dermal mitochondria. So lack of exercise is believed to contribute to accelerated degeneration and skin aging.
There are lots of different skin treatments available, but to slow down ageing on the inside and the outside, regular exercise is a great place to start.
Crane, J. D., MacNeil, L. G., Lally, J. S., Ford, R. J., Bujak, A. L., Brar, I. K., Kemp, B. E., Raha, S., Steinberg, G. R. and Tarnopolsky, M. A. (2015), Exercise-stimulated interleukin-15 is controlled by AMPK and regulates skin metabolism and aging. Aging Cell. doi: 10.1111/acel.12341
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