The science behind lifting weights and youth
By: John Hollywood
Have you ever walked by a guy that turned your head because he was stunningly hot? Did you assume the man was in his mid-thirties, only to be shocked that he well past 40? Find yourself scratching your head afterwards, thinking: what’s his secret?
While it’s possible the guy you admired may have had cosmetic work done, chances are something else was going on.
And that “something” likely had nothing to do with Botox or facial filler.
Instead, his secret is likely connected to a dumbbell. According a number of research studies, men who lift weights on a consistent basis look much years younger than their years.
And when you dig deeper into the data, you’ll also find that these same men experience a more stable, happier mood state.
As mentioned in Health Online, Dr. Frank Frisch, Director of Kinesiology at Chapman University in Orange, California believes that even small (but regular) amounts of weight lifting can help to reverse the hands of time.
But beyond looking more muscular and cut, you may be wondering how lifting weights can help you obtain a more youthful appearance?
Let’s take a look at 7 reasons grounded in science.
1. Keeps skin youthful
When you lift weights, you typically sweat. For reasons scientists don’t yet fully understand, sweating helps to purge bodily toxins through your skin’s pours. Through the magic of dermal catharsis, your skin realizes an anti-aging benefit.
An interesting piece appeared on the website, Daily News, where an expert shared the following:
“Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and exercise science, led a team of researchers who have found that people over the age of 40 who exercise regularly have healthier skin.
In fact, the study showed their skin to be closer in composition to that of 20- and 30-year-olds.”
2. Release of anti-aging hormones
Lifting weights helps to encourage the production of two anti-aging hormones; oxytocin and progesterone. Combined, these two brain chemicals impact your system’s circadian rhythm. That’s a 25-cent term for your body clock.
The more in tune you are with your body own rhythm, the more likely you are to get a more restful night’s sleep. You’re also releasing a healthy dose of hormonal agents into your skin’s dermis, which in turn may help to prevent the formation of wrinkles and lines.
3. Prevents muscle loss
After age 30, your body starts to lose muscle mass. While the numbers are somewhat scattered, health experts believe the rate of muscle loss hovers around 5% a year for physically inactive men.
Related: Bubble but workout for men!
But the good news is that if you dedicate yourself to a regular strength training program, like weight lifting, much of that muscle loss can be avoided.
And let’s face it – a telltale sign of aging is the presence of a saggy butt and flabby arms.
4. Slows cells aging
This might surprise you but there is a direct link between your emotional mood state and how you look. How so? Well, if you are constantly depressed, there’s a good chance its wreaking havoc on your skin.
That’s because depression is believed to make you age faster. The current body of research suggests that depression robs your body of a cellular coating referred to as telomeres.
When this coating is reduced during cellular division, base pairs diminish. And the fewer good sets of telomeres you have chromosome-wise, the more rapid the aging process.
The really good news on this front is that you can naturally help to ameliorate, reduce and in part, treat depression through strength training and other forms of exercise.
5. Improves Posture
Men who are attractive generally have a commanding presence. And part of this dynamic is a function of posture. But just like muscle mass, bone density becomes reduced as you age. So can anything be done?
The answer is yes – absolutely!
You can counteract much of that bone loss by simply engaging in meaningful strength training exercises, 3-5 times a week. In addition to postural benefits, you’ll also be upping your core – an essential ingredient for flexibility and good back health.
6. Higher metabolism
Guys who lift weights have a higher metabolism, according to numerous of scientific studies. And when your system is running on all cylinders, it’s more likely to burn off unwanted calories and fat.
Speaking of fat, did you know that weight lifting burns fat at a rate three times faster than cardio alone. Yep – it sure does. That’s why you want to make sure you have resistance training as part of your regular exercise routine.
Like it or not, men who are overweight often look older than their true age. If this describes you, consider grabbing a barbell and pump some iron.
7. Increased self-esteem
The final noteworthy benefit of lifting weights is higher self-esteem. This boost in self-concept can help you look and feel younger. And that old saying – you are what you think – really is kind of true when you think about it.
That’s because people generally perceive what is being projected. If, for example, you feel good about yourself and your abilities, you’re more likely to send a signal of youth, confidence and vigor.
Wrapping Things Up
Lifting weights alone shouldn’t be thought of as the male fountain of youth. You’ll need to have a healthy diet, combined with a good skin care routine, to create desired results.
Related: Skin care secrets from male models
And unhealthy lifestyles factors can’t be discounted. This means taking a look at alcohol use, stress levels and caustic relationships.
But if you decide to lift weights in conjunction healthier living, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a sexier, younger looking man.