Most people know how beneficial regular exercise is for our bodies and minds. It improves muscle strength, reduces fat, increases bone density and strengthens the heart. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain. It’s essential to stay fit when hunting crafty mice and birds- plyometrics and core work are my mainstay routines.
Researches have also discovered exercise is beneficial for the skin, the bodies largest organ.
“If you are not exercising,” explains Dr. John Bird (mmmm, bird), former director of the Bureau of Biological Research at Rutgers University, “there is much less blood in the skin and the body’s periphery in general, compared with its central cavity. With exercise, and therefore with more blood reaching the periphery, the skin receives more nutrients, the exchange of oxygen is increased, and there is a greater release of sweat. All of these things would be tremendously beneficial to the skin.”
Increased blood flow to skin not only delivers more nutrients and oxygen, it carries away waste products including free radicals which cause damage. It’s almost like cleansing your skin from the inside.
Exercise has been shown to increase the thickness of the dermis, the deeper layer of skin. The dermis loses collagen and thins with age. Skin with thin dermis is more prone to developing wrinkles. Studies have shown age matched older woman who exercise regularly have fewer lines and wrinkles and better complexion compared with their sedentary counterparts.
Unlike many cats (and their owners) who gain weight and become sedentary with older age, I prefer some form of exercise daily… during the 5 hours a day I’m not getting my regenerative beauty sleep.