Running is among the healthiest physical activities that bring many positive changes to the human body. It prevents many diseases and proves to be an effective activity to grow healthier, according to several studies. However, there are different myths about its side effects. People think that those who run regularly look older than their actual age. So, does running age you?
Running, particularly long distances, will cause you to lose fat on your face, making fine lines and wrinkles appear more. In addition, if you do not use sunscreen, running outside in the sun will cause skin damage.
Whether it’s true or not, there are some preventive steps to lower the possible side effects of running. To keep your body ever young, this short guide will reveal some beneficial tips to you and learn whether it is true or not that running ages the runners.
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Does Running Cause Aging?
Generally, exercise and running will not age your skin. Findings from a few studies indicate that moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost our immune system, which may give our skin a more youthful appearance. However, the environmental factors that come with running affect our skin, the American Academy of Dermatology.
In addition, prolonged sun exposure can lead to premature aging caused or acne, mainly if you skip sunblock. The effects are generally aggravated when you sweat or exercise in harsh weather because sweat increases the skin’s photosensitivity.
Check out this detailed article from Runner’s World about the pros and cons of running in the sun.
It is still controversial whether running causes aging or not. However, recent studies have revealed that type of exercise may bring some negative changes if you don’t follow proper form and precautions.
Here are possible factors that may age your skin while running.
1- Exposure to UV Rays During Your Runs Might Age You.
You may know that permanent exposure to sunlight may hurt your body. It’s due to the UV rays that sunlight has. Moreover, this exposure can result in the extra intake of vitamins contained in sunlight.
Running outdoors, mainly when performing more than 2 hours long runs, can cause lots of sun exposure. About 80 percent of the signs of aging are attributed to sun damage, according to research.
If your running track is sunny and you run regularly at the sunny time, it may have a bad impact on your skin.
Particularly, this causes bad changes in the UV-sensitive skins. If this factor is present in your running routine, your skin may seem aged.
How To Prevent UV Rays:
- If you run while it’s too hot, it’s harmful to your skin.
- Change your running schedule to prevent your skin from growing older before age.
- Avoid sunlight as often as you possibly can when running or running on trails will save your skin.
- Try to run early in the morning or in the evenings, but always wear reflective clothes to stay visible on the road.
2- Running During Harsh Weather Might Contribute To Aging You.
Harsh weather, hot or cold, may have a bad impact on your body. If your skin is exposed to such weather permanently, you may look older than your real age. If you’re a sensitive type of person, such weather will affect your skin more.
Running in too hot or too cold is harmful to the skin. If you consistently run in such an environment, your skin will seem dead. This may result in skin that will look older than your actual age.
How To Prevent Harsh Weather:
- Avoid critical environment. If you’re running in too hot or too cold weather, it also has a bad impact on your skin. So, avoid running in such weather.
- You may take a pause (or run indoors using treadmill) and wait until the weather clears.
- Also, you can choose that part of the day for running when the weather is not too harsh.
3- Smoking While Running Might Contribute To Aging You.
During running, we breathe faster than normal breathing. This is due to the extra need for oxygen and maximum removal of CO2 from the body. If you’re a smoker and smoke while running, this affects your lungs more than normal smoking.
If you’re used to such kinds of smoking, your skin will gradually start dying. This may result in skin that will look far older and dead than your age.
How To Prevent This:
- Smoking is severely injurious to health in all forms. However, it’s riskier while running.
- So, avoid smoking when you’re jogging or running. This will also prevent your skin from drying.
4- Extreme And Competitive Training is Downright Exhausting
If you take your training to extremes without proper mechanics and form, you might also suffer from early muscular-skeletal issues in your knees, lower legs, and in some cases, lower back, according to studies.
But what is considered extreme training? According to research, training for about 90 minutes or longer at 70 to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate is considered extreme.
How To Prevent Overuse:
- If you want to reap all the benefits of running without tearing your body up, I recommend running moderately, about 20 miles a week, and cross-training, with a few days a week of resistance training for injury prevention and muscle maintenance.
- Incorporate low impact training, including stretching, yoga, swimming, and cycling, to avoid overusing the same running motion. With healthy nutrition, water, and massages, you will feel and look better than ever without burning out.
5- Air Pollution While Running Might Cause Aging
Excessive sun exposure is not the only that causes skin damage. Air pollution could also contribute to aging. Exposure to air pollution can significantly increase signs of skin aging, according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
In addition, research has linked pollution to deteriorating chronic or genetic skin conditions, including hives and eczema.
How To prevent this:
- If you live in urban areas, ensure you track the Dermalogica’s Skin Pollution Index in your area.
- The higher the Dermalogica’s Skin Pollution Index, the more significant the impact on your skin.
Recommended Running Distance by Age
Here are different recommendations about how much is too much for different runners. Ensure that your maximum distance covered is within the recommended distance depending on your age.
|Men (minutes per mile (1.61 km))
|Women (minutes per mile (1.61 km))
|16 to 19
|9 minutes 34 seconds
|11 minutes and 44 seconds
|20 to 24
|10 minutes and 03 seconds
|11 minutes and 42 seconds
|30 to 34
|10 minutes and 09 seconds
|12 minutes and 29 seconds
|35 to 39
|10 minutes and 53 seconds
|12 minutes and 03 seconds
|40 to 44
|10 minutes and 28 seconds
|12 minutes and 24 seconds
|45 to 49
|10 minutes and 43 seconds
|12 minutes and 41 seconds
|50 to 54
|11 minutes and 08 seconds
|13 minutes and 20 seconds
|55 to 59
|12 minutes and 08 seconds
|14 minutes and 37 seconds
|60 to 64
|13 minutes and 05 seconds
|14 minutes and 47 seconds
|65 to 99
|13 minutes and 52 seconds
|16 minutes and 12 seconds
At What Age Do Strength Training And Running Become Harder?
Physical strength, including muscle mass peaks, peaks at about 25 years of age, according to the Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science. Strength plateaus from 35 to 40 years, then fall, with a 25% loss of peak force by 65. In other words, you can expect to notice a drop of 25 percent of your peak strength by the time you are 65.
However, everybody is different, so it depends on how intensive an individual’s exercise regiment is. If you want to stay healthy, the last thing you want to do is stop exercising or running. Instead, you should place focus on how much you exercise or run.
Exercising and running improve your ability to bounce back from health issues. The evidence is that running does get more challenging with age, but the bottom line is that running is easier for the young but beneficial at every age.
Age has a great impact on daily work routine. With age, one feels exhausted and can’t carry on his or her workouts. Recent research shows that when one turns 25, his work capability is maximum.
This is the time when one can give his or her body a tough time. After this age, the body gradually starts retarding. The working capability and bearing capacity of the body becomes low. By the 50s, one should stop strength training and run as after this age, such activities may prove dangerous.
Tips For Running Older:
- Always listen to your body.
- A good pair of running shoes, a clean diet, and sleep play are essential to keep you going.
- Resistance training a few days a week also matters. The key is to incorporate strength training to maintain joint stability for runners.
- If you are slim and run with good technique and look after the muscles in your legs, you will minimize your risk of getting injured.
- It is essential to perform exercises that maintain muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. If all you do is run, you might develop muscle imbalances causing numerous injuries.
- Remember that the most critical risk factors are sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Being overweight will play against you.
- Proper technique, conditioning, and healthy nutrition matter.
- Ensure you drink plenty of water because poor hydration is generally the cause of most skin-related illnesses.
- Wear a hat or sunglasses at all times can help protect your skin and eyes from the sun.
Why Do Runners Always Look Old?
Different reasons may lead runners’ skin to look older. The most remarkable reasons are the bouncing effects that running causes on the skin, particularly that of cheeks, environmental conditions, and exposure to a variety of environmental conditions.
Regular exercise, particularly running, is one of the primary triggers for healthy skin. Exercising can increase circulation, promote bone density, and boost your immune system, which may give your skin a more youthful and lively appearance.
In addition, exercise, including running, is one of the best anti-aging steps you can take for your heart, brain, lungs, productivity, and brainpower.
Does Running Make You Look Younger?
Running with proper care of the body makes one look younger than ever. If running is accompanied by a proper diet, one always looks younger as his or her skin keeps on growing forever.
Also, this activity helps increase the production of growth hormones. So, all this leads to a younger look.
Does Running Cause Skin To Sag?
If you don’t take proper precautions, running might sag your skin. The jumps resulting from running have a great impact on human skin.
This may lead the skin to sag after some time. So, make sure that you have managed to properly look after your skin before running.
Does Running Improve Looks?
Running accompanied by proper diet and care can restore your look. If you manage a proper diet and proper care of your skin, you can look evergreen and ever young.
Add the following activities into your fitness program:
- Strength training and muscle building to maintain or boost your metabolism.
- Cardiovascular physical activity, including biking, martial arts, swimming, and yoga, help burn more calories and maintain a healthy weight.
- Adequate recovery time and diet.
See also: Running Cross Country: Top 15 Pros And Cons.
Overall, running does not age. By taking the steps listed above, you can significantly slow down the potential aging of your skin.
Read more about the ten health benefits of running and how running changes your mind and body (according to science).