A recent study found that exercising can take years off your skin’s appearance![i]
The researcher gathered volunteers aged 20 to 84. Half the group were sedentary. The other half worked out a few times a week.
He took biopsies from their buttocks where there was no sun damage.
As you’d expect, the skin of the older volunteers had thicker stratum corneum layers. This outermost layer protects the deeper layers of your skin. It’s built of dead skin cells and collagen. And as you get older it gets thicker, drier and tougher.
At the same time, the inside layers of the epidermis and dermis begin to get thinner. They lose their elasticity and plumpness. You start to look wrinkly and saggy.
But in the study, people who exercised — even if they were over 65 — still had stratum corneum layers that were significantly thinner. Their dermis and epidermis were also significantly thicker with more elasticity and plumpness.
In fact, they still had skin that was much closer to a 20- or 30-year-old — even though they were in their 60s!
But it doesn’t just work on your backside…
This same researcher took biopsies from more visible skin in a group of 65-year-olds. Then he started them on a training program twice a week. At the end of three months, the results were dramatic.
The 65-year-olds’ skin appeared to look similar to the skin of a 20- to 40-year-old. Their skin reversed aging!
Think about it…
You’ve probably noticed that after a bout of physical exercise, your complexion is positively glowing — and your cheeks are flushed pink. This is a very healthy sign. It means red blood cells are flooding life-giving oxygen into the outermost regions of your body — your skin.
Here at the Sears Institute, I’ve seen many patients use exercise to shave decades from their appearance.
But here’s the thing. Not all exercise will reverse aging…
In fact, traditional cardio will make you age faster.
You see, long aerobic sessions produce huge quantities of free radicals. Unless these free radicals are mopped up by an abundance of antioxidants in our diets, our immune system can be compromised and make us more susceptible to colds, flus, illness and degenerative disease.
Instead, my patients do PACE.
I developed the PACE principle because it replicates the natural rhythm of exertion that kept your ancestors in perfect condition.
PACE stands for Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion, and it shifts the focus of your workout from “how long” you work to “how intensely” you exert yourself.
And it’s the ultimate skin rejuvenator because it builds skin collagen. Your skin produces 1% less collagen — the protein responsible for skin firmness — every year after the age of 20. That means that every year, your skin gets a little thinner as less elastin fibers are made and skin loses elasticity.
But physical activity, especially a high-intensity program, promotes the growth of collagen in your skin cells. This will plump up your facial skin and give it a younger and more vibrant appearance.
In fact, a study found that a vigorous exercise program like PACE changes and improves the metabolism of your skin cells so they function better.[ii]
Try This 12-Minute Wrinkle Reducer
The really great thing about my PACE system is you only need 12 minutes a day. Doing a modified push-up is a simple way to start:
- Kneel down, palms against the floor under your shoulders.
- Move your knees back until they are slightly behind your hips.
- Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Push back up with your arms. Remember to keep a straight line from your head through your knees.
[i] Reynolds G. “Younger skin through exercise.” The New York Times. April 16, 2014.
[ii] Crane J, et al. “Exercise-stimulated interleukin-15 is controlled by AMPK and regulates skin metabolism and aging.” Aging Cell. 2015 ;14(4):625-634.