In a study comparing the effects of aerobic training (AT) and resistance training (RT) on signs of skin aging, researchers found both approaches significantly improved skin elasticity and upper dermal structure, while RT also improved dermal thickness.
The findings were published in Scientific Reports.
“Aerobic training is suggested to be an effective anti-aging strategy for skin aging. However, the respective effects of resistance training have not been studied,” the authors write.
They note that physical exercise training alters the circulating levels of various cytokines and hormones, and these changes may be involved in the anti-aging effects of exercise.
In particular, they note that recent research has focused on myokines produced by skeletal muscle cells as mediators between exercise and various beneficial effects of exercise on health, as the secretion of myokines is mainly driven by exercise.
“Interestingly, aerobic training and resistance training have different effects on circulating levels of various factors, and consequently, we hypothesized that they may have different effects on skin aging,” they write.
To explore this hypothesis, the researchers compared the effects of AT and RT on skin aging in a 16-week intervention in 61 healthy sedentary middle-aged Japanese women. Data from 56 women were available for analysis.
They found both interventions significantly improved skin elasticity and upper dermal structure, and RT also improved dermal thickness. They also noted that the expression of dermal extracellular matrix-related genes was increased in normal human primary dermal fibroblasts after the intervention.
AT and RT had different effects on circulating levels of factors, such as cytokines, hormones in serum, and metabolites, and RT increased dermal biglycan.
“The study clarified only the mechanism by which RT counteracts age-associated dermal thinning,” the researchers note, “and the other mechanisms of AT- and RT-driven skin rejuvenation remain to be elucidated.”