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Exercise may lead to healthier skin

May 2, 2014

Diet and exercise are two of the most important factors to consider when leading a healthy lifestyle for seniors, as both can lead to greater mental and physical health. A recent study conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario found that exercise may be key to keeping seniors' skin looking young, in addition to providing a boost for one's overall well-being. 

As adults grow older, they may notice more wrinkles, sagging or sun spots, which is exactly why these scientists sought to examine whether these effects could be prevented. According to The New York Times, researchers first studied a group of mice to see how exercise affected their skin, and found those that maintained an active lifestyle kept their fur coats longer than those that remained inactive.

Researchers then examined a group of human volunteers ranging in age from 20 to 84 years old. They were divided into two groups: those who participated in regular physical activity and those who did not. After collecting skin samples from all trial members, scientists saw that those over the age of 40 who exercised at least three hours per week had much healthier skin. In fact, they added that active seniors' skin better resembled that of participants under 30, as opposed to fellow adults over 40.

Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and exercise science at McMaster, explained that the results were indicative of healthy aging among older participants.

"I don't want to over-hype the results, but, really, it was pretty remarkable to see," Tarnopolsky said, as quoted by the source. "[Active seniors' skin] looked like that of a much younger person, and all that they had done differently was exercise."

The Huffington Post added that while the results were important for older adults looking to stay healthy, the trial was relatively small, and the researchers would need to examine a larger sample before making any definitive claims.