4 Reasons Exercise Is More Powerful Than (Almost) Any Medication You Can Take

by Well & Good

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. But, it turns out that exercise isn’t just good for you, it’s the best medicine. (Sorry, laughter.)

According to new research, even small amounts of movement have been proven to solve a bevy of medical issues, as well as prolong life and keep you looking younger longer, Time magazine reports. Sounds like Sister Madonna Buder is on to something.

“There is no pill that comes close to what exercise can do,” says Claude Bouchard, director of the human genomics laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana. “And if there was one, it would be extremely expensive.” (BRB, gonna go for a quick run.)

Most of you are probably already on top of your daily workout routines, but maybe this new research will change your mind next time that Gilmore Girls binge-a-thon is calling your name?

Photo: Kate Shill Gardner by Tim Gibson for Well+Good

1. It helps you age more slowly Exercise has been shown to lengthen lifespan by as much as five years, Time reports, but it also slows down the actual aging of cells. How do researchers know that? By looking at telomeres, which are the protective caps on your DNA, and as Cameron Diaz explains in The Longevity Book, they shrink as you get older. But a recent study showed that exercise increases levels of a molecule that protects telomeres, which may keep your cells (and you) in a more youthful state.

Photo: Tamara Pridgett by Tim Gibson for Well+Good

2. It gives you gorgeous skin Ever notice that perfect, no-blush glow you have right after your outdoor run? That’s not just in your head—your skin is proven to look better post-sweating. According to Anthony Hackney, an exercise physiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, aerobic exercise revs up blood flow to the skin, delivering oxygen and nutrients that can improve skin health and help wounds heal faster: “That’s why when people have injuries, they should get moving as quickly as possible,” Hackney says. “Not only to make sure the muscle doesn’t atrophy, but to make sure there’s good blood flow to the skin.”

To see all four ways exercise can improve your health check out the full article here.