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How fitness can help your skin

Are you ready for 2024? If you’re feeling sluggish after overdosing on starchy winter carbs and Christmas pudding, it’s time for a January reboot. Last year, I confessed I’m a fitness fan and shared my pre and post-exercise skincare tips. This year, I want to share the latest research in fitness for over 40s: resistance training rejuvenates ageing skin even more than cardio! It’s time to dig those dumbells out from the back of the wardrobe and get pumping.

Tej’s fitness routine for over 40’s

Exercise is vital for fitness, tone and skin health, whatever your age, and it’s not just a New Year resolution. As I moved through perimenopause and surgical menopause, I tested many different regimes to feel stronger and healthier. Now I combine personal training with weights for strength, Pilates for core and yoga for stress relief. My 360-degree approach encompasses diet, exercise and skincare:

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“I take a holistic approach, treating the skin as an organ, both topically and internally. There’s a natural decline in oestrogen during menopause, so I had to adjust my skincare routine. If I get a compliment, I thank good genes combined with consistent maintenance! I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, and I’m coeliac, so I try to eat healthily, but I know I have to up my protein to help my strength and conditioning.

The research reflects that all exercise, whether cardio or resistance training, impacts the skin because you’re increasing circulation and delivering nutrients to the cells. I prefer strength and conditioning, and this paper reinforces that what I’m doing is right – especially as a post-menopausal woman – and I can see the benefits. I’ve had three C-sections and a hysterectomy, and Pilates has helped rebuild my core strength.

I started exercising in my 40s and continued because of my passion for weights. My instructor is excellent, and now I’ve got good strength. It’s accumulative – you have to be consistent. But my core lets me down; I can’t do burpees and struggle with stomach crunchies. So that’s where Pilates comes in – I don’t let it hold me back. 

People ask how I stay positive, but exercise is my stress relief – when I’m there, I can switch off. Everyone says, ‘Oh, exercise…I’m not that good.’ But I also have those fears – you do what you can.

People often see me exercising on my blog posts and stories, and then they do it. One of my women has joined my PT trainer since I’ve been talking about him, and that’s great.”

But don’t just take my word for it – let’s follow the science. The results might just change your exercise routine and your skin.

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance training (or weight or strength training) increases muscle strength by making muscles work against resistant bands, free weights, weight machines, or your body weight. If you’re worried about bulking up – don’t; women aren’t built that way. If you’re intimidated by male gym bunnies, try a weights class to learn the basics. 

As well as changing your body composition (ratio of lean muscle mass to body fat), resistance training builds fat-burning, lean muscle, making you stronger and reducing your risk of osteoporosis. It improves mood, sleep, energy levels, metabolism and skin health. This dark horse is just as effective at weight loss as running.

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Resistance Training (RT) vs Aerobics Training (AT): what is the best fitness for over 40s?

Studies on exercise and skin health have been neglected until recently. 

In 2015, researchers discovered that aerobic training (walking, jogging, biking, swimming and skipping) can help regulate skin metabolism and slow premature ageing.  In 2023, a study by scientists at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, published in Scientific Reports, revealed that RT and AT are both beneficial but have different outcomes for the skin. Intriguing!

In a randomised study of sixty-one healthy, sedentary, middle-aged Japanese women, researchers took blood samples to measure the amount of circulating inflammatory cells before and after exercise. (Half of the participants had to ride a bike for 30 minutes twice a week for 16 weeks; the rest did weights). 

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RT improved dermal thickness (thinner skin sags and wrinkles more readily), collagen production (by increasing levels of growth hormone and testosterone) and skin rejuvenation in women more than AT by reducing inflammation in the blood; skin elasticity (which makes our skin bouncy) stayed the same. 

Let’s rejuvenate our skin from the inside.

 Who knew the latest exercise tip would double up as an anti-ageing skincare hack, making fitness for over 40s even more important? At Tej & Co, our corneotherapy skincare protects your skin from the outside-in by preserving the barrier. Instead of chasing collagen with barrier-damaging retinol or ascorbic acid, we recommend stimulating collagen and rejuvenating ageing skin from inside-out with resistance training. 

If you have any questions about a skin concern please get in touch by booking an appointment via email info@tejandco.co.uk or call us on 01384 824039

This article was written by skincare expert Tej from Tej & Co, a specialist skincare and hair removal clinic in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

This article was written by skincare specialist Tej of Tej & Co. Tej & Co are experts in skincare and hair removal clinic, West Midlands. Offering safe and results-driven non-surgical skin treatments including Endymed Skin Tightening.