The study compared aerobic training and resistance training in skin aging in inactive middle-aged women in Japan. They had half of the women use a stationary cycle twice a week, and the other half lifted weights twice a week. After 16 weeks, the researchers noted that both groups had improved the elasticity of their skin, particularly the top layer of their skin. Both forms of exercise influenced the circulating inflammatory cytokines and hormones in the skin that can affect aging. The aerobic exercise group increased levels of interleukin-15, which is a cytokine that can improve the skin’s structure.
The group that focused on resistance training had thickened the middle layer of their skin, the dermis. The dermis typically gets thinner with age. The researchers believed that resistance training increases dermal biglycan, which tends to decrease with aging and sun exposure. Strength training also affects the gene expressions associated with the skin’s structure and age-related inflammation of the skin.