We can't run from the truth, in fact, we should sprint towards it—a sedentary life not only leads to excess weight, but premature wrinkles. Studies have proven time and time again that regular exercise benefits the skin similar to the way it improves bone and muscle quality.
Still not off of the couch yet? Then let this fact marinate: When the skin of competitive athletes is examined under a microscope, their skin is thicker and has more, and healthier, collagen due to their high fitness levels. And since we now have your attention, that's not all you need to know about exercise's affect on the skin. Most forms of working out are good for fighting wrinkles, but some are better than others.
"Exercise in general will improve the quality and appearance of one's skin," says Ashley Deleon, fitness expert and owner of Ashley Deleon Pilates in New York, a studio that specializes in anti-aging pilates. "That being said, there are some moves and exercises that are better than others when it comes to anti-aging."
The main tenants of pilates—to improve blood circulation and muscle tone in the body along with increased flexibility—will help keep your skin firm and taught, she says. And science agrees. Meriden, CT, dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, says a holistic approach to aging is the best approach. He has found through extensive research that increasing circulation, flexibility and muscle tone through resistance training, like pilates, can help to release growth hormone and reduce cortisol. This means increased bone density, skin thickness, cell growth and repaired and restored collagen fibers.
Flip through this gallery of the five best and easiest pilates moves you can do in the comfort of your own home, which Deleon says if done everyday, will help slow the aging process and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.