If you you said, "muscle and bone", you are right! (points for saying "fat", but that's another conversation) Anytime you've ever seen a man or woman with amazing curves or impressive ripples, that's muscle and bone talking through the skin. Now let's explore them, some ways in which we can improve the health of muscle and bone, and how keeping them healthy can improve the health and appearance of our skin.
Definitely one of the most misunderstood systems of the body, bones are not so much like the rocks they are often compared to, rather, they are living tissue. Bone tissue grows, changes, and dies (akin to shedding) on the inside; much like skin does on the outside. Over time, a nutrient-deficient diet, poor posture, and constrictive clothing (think narrow shoes) can alter the very structure of your skeleton, just like excessive sun and dehydration will show in your dermis. Misshapen bones will also show through your dermis.
Skeletal muscle (distinct from cardiac muscle or smooth muscle) is what physically moves us about. This type of tissue is quite malleable, as evidenced by the distinct forms taken on by the muscle of bodybuilders and ballerinas alike. The bulges and/or smooth lines of muscle tissue give shape and texture to the skin overlaying them. Conversely, underdeveloped areas of the muscular system can leave the skin looking overly soft and flabby (like that jiggly bit many people have on the backsides of their upper arms).
Exercise for Synergistic Tissue Health
Knowing that the health and form of our muscle and bone has a direct impact on the health and appearance of our skin, we want to find ways to improve them all, together if possible. Enter resistance training.
Simply put, resistance training is any activity that forces us to overcome some kind of resistance to movement beyond the weight of our body and normal gravity. This may be weight lifting or swimming with a shirt on (for drag), but either way it is a boon to overall tissue health. Muscles get stronger, firmer, and toned; bones get denser and stronger overall; skin gets flushed with blood, pouring out sweat and impurities. To get in 20-30 minutes of resistance training 4-5 times a week would be a large step toward healthier bones, muscles, and skin; which translates to a better looking everything.
Secret Superfood for Tissue Health
Of course, no exercise regimen would be complete without turning an eye toward nutrition. Healthy, strong tissue doesn't form out of thin air (or sugar); the body requires proper nutrition to build its best. While individual needs will vary, and are beyond the scope of this piece, anyone looking to improve tissue health and support a vigorous exercise program would do well to incorporate bone broth in their diet. Bone broth is loaded with collagen, protein, and various other nutrients that make it a fantastic food for all three tissue types. As always, we recommend organic, from a source you trust to treat the animals well. Or make your own (recipes abound).