We all know about the obvious benefits of exercise–lose weight, boost your metabolism, get those endorphins, blah blah blah. We get it. I, and countless others, have talked that to death so today I want to share a benefit of resistance training that you may not be aware of. Weight bearing exercises can actually make your skin look YOUNGER. Sound crazy? Let’s get into it.
Do you remember learning about the mitochondria back in high school? I won’t bore you with a biology lesson, but that “powerhouse of the cell” does a ton of work to keep our bodies functioning. The older we get, the more damage our mitochondria face from free radicals and environmental factors. Old and damaged mitochondria = old and damaged skin. Exercise, and weight bearing exercise in particular, has been shown to improve mitochondrial mutations. When I hear “mutations”, I usually think of it with a negative connotation, but here it just means that, instead of getting old and damaged, the mitochondria are evolving and changing to get stronger and face the challenges of aging more gracefully. The more gracefully our mitochondria age, the more gracefully we age! These improved mutations mean that our bodies are producing more collagen (hello, bright glowy skin!), less cortisol (the stress hormone), and more elastin (prevents gravity from making your skin sag); this is a trifecta for achieving healthy looking skin.
Okay, the science-y part is over. If you felt your eyes glazing over, here is the moral of the story: lifting weights makes your body produce more of what keeps skin looking healthy, bright, and lifted. Of course a great skincare routine and diet is pretty vital too, but for those of us who always want to look and feel our best (and let’s be real, who doesn’t), picking up a dumbbell or adding some resistance bands into your weekly mix is going to have major benefits.
What is your favorite way to get weight training into your workouts? Is this something new for you? Let me know!