Of course, you can’t change your chronological age, but exercise can improve your health to the point where you look and feel younger than you are. Exercise has magical effects, the way even moderate amounts seem to shave years off your age, no matter how many birthdays you’ve actually celebrated.
Forget expensive anti-aging creams, scientists prove that regular exercise can be the key to reversing skin’s aging process.
A workout is like nature’s energy drink, firing up your brain and body so you feel more alert and alive. “Exercise puts your body in a state of arousal, which translates into more vitality and a greater sense of well being,” says Frank Frisch, PhD, director of kinesiology at Chapman University in Orange, California.
The frequent exercisers who were over age 40 had skin that resembled the more supple, elastic skin of people in their 20s and 30s. The difference had nothing to do with sun exposure (which would age your skin faster if you didn’t wear sunscreen).
Luckily scheduling regular workout sessions helps you increase the total number of calories you burn, helping you maintain a steady, healthy weight. You’ll torch more calories if you add in resistance training to your routine at least a few times a week, since working out with free weights or doing bodyweight exercises helps build muscle mass.
Exercise also powers your sex drive in a psychological way. “Working out brings on more confidence about your appearance and body, and that puts you in a sexier mindset,” says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine.
“Endorphins are like natural opiates,” says Eric Sternlicht, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology at Chapman University. Some evidence shows that gym sessions can trigger changes in other neurotransmitters linked to pleasurable feelings, such as dopamine. And the confidence kick you get helps you feel happier too.