The Cheat Sheet For Mid-lifers: Secrets To Firming Up

There are two problem areas that ladies in their forties and beyond worry about more than anything else. One is a sagging jaw line and the other is sagging upper arms. Are these issues simply an inevitable part of getting older or is there something that we can do about them? If these aspects of your appearance are beginning to bother you, now is the time to do something about it.   

Tackling A Sagging Jaw Line

Your ‘jawline’ is the lower contour of the bone at the base of your skull. Of course, these come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It just depends on what shape the underlying bone is. The shape of your bone is something that you cannot change (without drastic cosmetic surgery), however, you can change the muscles and the skin covering this area.
As we age, the natural elastic structures in our skin (collagen) stretch and lose elasticity. This causes the sagging effect that some of us dislike so much. The degree of sagging, and the age at which it starts, is highly variable. Some ladies may only get a mild sagging of the skin whilst others will get full blown jowls. The good news is that there are some things that you can do to help yourself.
The place you have to start is a healthy lifestyle. Get plenty of exercise and eat a balanced, healthy diet containing loads of fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only will you feel better but your skin will look younger and firmer as well. The big enemy to firm skin is smoking so get some help to give this up as soon as you can. If you are struggling to do this alone, you may find that counselling or nicotine products help you.
Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth when you are stressed will not help. Try some visualisation techniques and some breathing exercises to release the tension in your body in other ways.
There are also some excellent jaw-firming exercises that you can try. Before you start the exercises make sure that you are relaxed and have 10 minutes to dedicate to your exercise routine. Then, wet your face and apply moisturizer. Take a few slow, deep breaths to relax your body, drop your shoulders and loosen your jawline.
  • Stick out your lower lip. If you are doing this correctly, the skin on your chin will be wrinkled. You should also be able to feel that the muscles in your jaw line are contracted. Hold this contraction for a few seconds. Next, you should move your chin toward your chest. Hold it here for two seconds and relax. Repeat this routine 5 times, twice a day.
  • Tilt your head backwards and press your tongue upwards and firmly into the roof of your mouth. This will tighten the platysma which is the muscle in the front of the neck. When this muscle is toned, it will smooth out your jawline.
Whilst you are introducing healthy eating and jaw exercises into your daily routine there are some excellent products here that will help you to see some quick results for all your efforts!

Dealing With Sagging Upper Arms

If you can get rid of the saggy skin around your arms (sometimes called bingo wings) it will give your upper body a more defined and youthful appearance. What’s more, you will be able to wear all those sleeveless tops and sundresses that you have banished to the back of your closet with renewed confidence. There are two steps to toning up your arms. The first is to burn fat and the second is to build muscle. If you have any sort of chronic health condition it is always advisable to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise regime.
The first step is to introduce some general cardio exercise into your daily routine to burn up the excess fat in your body. Each session should be a half an hour long. Some good ideas include cycling, jogging, tennis and swimming. Go at your own pace to begin with and listen to what your body is telling you.

Now move on to the muscle firming exercises for the upper arms. Do a few sets of push-ups. Find a safe flat surface. If you are on a hard wooden or tiled floor use a yoga or exercise mat. Place your arms flat on the floor and shoulder width apart. Then all you have to do is lift your body up with your feet. If this is too strenuous you can stay on your knees. Then you lower your body to the floor and use your arms to push it back up into the starting position. You are aiming to do this ten times in a row and to repeat the exercise 20 times. This is likely to be too exhausting, to begin with so build up to it slowly.
Once you have mastered the push-ups it is time to introduce some resistance to firm up your muscles by bulking them out a little. Dumbbells are ideal for this and you can use them at home. There will never be the excuse that you couldn’t get to the gym!
Bicep curls are easy to perform. The biceps are the muscles on the inside of your upper arm. All you have to do is stand up with your arms close to your sides and your palms gripping the dumbbells outwards. Then, gradually bring the dumbbells to your chest and then release them to your starting position. You should be able to feel your biceps tightening as you do it.
Triceps are the muscles on the outer part of your upper arm. Triceps kickbacks are a brilliant firming exercise. Start in a split stance with your back arched slightly forward to stabilise your body. Bend your elbow while holding the dumbbell. Then straighten your elbow while flexing your triceps.

Both of these exercises can be repeated 10 times twice a day for impressive results.

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