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FITNESS

Can Face Yoga Actually Give A More Youthful Appearance To Your Face?

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As you’ve aged, has your skincare routine created a sizable dent in your wallet? 

Have masks, creams, and serums become a ritualistic part of your morning and evening hours, aiding your endeavors in diminishing fine lines and wrinkles? 

If you’ve found yourself searching for the fountain of youth, or any other remedy to hide the signs of stress and worry written all over your face, yoga may just be the solution to your search. 

Yes, aside from promoting relaxation and relieving stress in general, yoga, more specifically, face yoga, can work to relax the muscles in your face, alleviating tension and the fine lines and wrinkles that follow! 

What Is Face Yoga?

It’s no secret that exercise can help to keep you looking young and feeling great. But, is it possible to focus these efforts to specifically benefit your face? 

I mean, we put in a little extra effort in both the kitchen and the gym for tight abs and firm glutes, so can similarly focused efforts on your facial muscles yield such youthful results as well? 

The survey says (actually research says)…yes! 

Face yoga seeks to improve the structural appearance of your face and neck. 

A lot of what we do (or even feel) throughout a given day can lead to premature aging, often seen in our reflection in the mirror. 

Did you know that too much time spent in front of a screen can cause facial aging? 

Did you know that most people hold tension in their face, contributing to fine lines and wrinkles? 

Face yoga, no mat, leggings, or vinyasas needed, can provide needed relaxation and strengthening to your face, releasing held tension and softening the effects of these daily routines and stressors. 

Incorporating both massage and exercise (and acupuncture in some cases), face yoga targets three main areas with the goal of relaxing and softening your facial muscles to alleviate stress, tension, and/or worry (and the fine lines and wrinkles that result from these feelings). 

As your face and neck house many muscles, face yoga works to stimulate these muscles, as well as your skin, and lymphatic system. 

Muscles 

By strengthening the muscles in your cheeks, face, and neck, you can potentially decrease puffiness or inflammation in the face. 

This can also help to improve the elasticity of the skin of your face and neck, which works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Focusing on these muscles can also reduce fat in the jawline, giving you a more sculpted appearance. 

Skin & Lymphatic System

We’ll look at your skin and lymphatic system together here as stimulating these areas boasts similar benefits.

Both exercise and massage, focused on your face and neck, increases blood flow.

Massage, specifically, can improve skin blood flow which aids in the production of collagen, a needed protein that keeps your skin from sagging and gives it a young/youthful glow. 

Facial massage also promotes tissue drainage, which clears toxins from below the surface of your skin to help improve your complexion. 

And, lymphatic drainage also works to smooth the skin, giving a youthful appearance to your facial features. 

Another way that face yoga can help to give a youthful appearance to your face is by helping you cease to make the facial expressions that promote the formation of fine lines and wrinkles in the first place. 

Alleviating tension, stress, and worry through the calming practice of yoga can reduce the number of times you may use such facial expressions altogether. 

Less frowning, fewer instances of a furrowed brow, and less frequent eyebrow raises, these can all lead to a reduction in the lines and wrinkles that come with age. 

What The Experts Say About Face Yoga

Many believe face yoga to be a promising and natural practice to alleviate the need for expensive, and often invasive, treatments that promise a more youthful appearance. 

Board-certified dermatologist, Deborah Longwill, states “The goal of face yoga is to increase the blood and oxygen supply to your skin, which improves the life of the cell, [and] this leads to glowing and rejuvenated skin.” 

When speaking of practicing specific exercises targeting the muscles in the face, dermatologist Lucy Chen says that face yoga can “reduce visible signs of aging.” 

And, Harvard Health has noted that “moving and stretching scarred skin through face yoga can lessen the appearance of scars.” 

While some believe studies regarding the effectiveness of face yoga are limited, meaning there simply aren’t enough results to conclusively define the benefits of it. 

Others have found the following to be tried and true results of practicing face yoga: 

  • Released and relieved tension, minimizing the appearance of stress lines on the face
  • Reduced number of scars (on the face)
  • Smoothing of lines and wrinkles
  • Glowing skin (thought to be the result of better circulation and increased blood flow to the skin)
  • Firmed jaw and neckline
  • Raised cheeks
  • Widened eyes
  • Reduced skin sagging
  • Makes your face less rounded and more symmetrical 
  • Reduced appearance of dark circles under the eyes

And, many practitioners recommend face yoga for benefits beyond appearance, such as: 

  • Improvements of facial muscle thickness
  • Reducing facial spasms
  • Improving Bell’s palsy
  • TMJ pain treatment
  • Controlled breathing through your nostrils
  • Improved confidence and greater positive emotions

So then, how can you reap these rewards, bringing health and a more youthful appearance to your face? 

How To Do Face Yoga

While traditional yoga poses aren’t at the core of face yoga, some of these exercises can still benefit your face and skin. 

  • Yoga exercises that promote a forward fold in your body can increase the amounts of blood and oxygen that flow to the skin, resulting in a youthful, healthy glow. 
  • Backbending yoga poses can benefit your front neck muscles through toning and firming. 
  • Poses that incorporate twisting can firm the sides of your face and release tension held in the neck. 
  • When meditating during traditional yoga poses, you can seek to also relax the muscles in your face to release tension. 

During face yoga, as tension tends to be found in your forehead, jaw, and brows, seek to work to release any tightness in these areas. 

As wrinkles are most often found near the forehead, mouth, and eyes, choose massages and exercises that focus on these areas. 

It is important to note that pain and tension shouldn’t be felt throughout face yoga exercises, but warmth or heat is normal. 

First, we’ll start with a common yoga breathing exercise that is already known for its benefits regarding stress reduction and the relaxing of facial muscles, the lion’s pose. 

The Lion’s Pose should be performed from a seated position, from this position: 

  • Lean forward, placing your hands either on your knees or on the floor.
  • Inhale through your nose, deeply. 
  • Open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out towards your chin.
  • Exhale your breath forcefully across the base of your tongue while making a “ha” sound. 
  • Now relax, breathe normally. 
  • Repeat this process up to 7 times, then relax, breathing deeply for a period of 1-3 minutes. 

Now, with clean hands and face, using an oil or balm on your fingers to promote easy gliding over your skin, practice exercising or massaging the following areas: 

  1. Eyes – To increase blood and oxygen circulation and relieve puffiness, using extremely light touches, perform the following for approximately 30 seconds:
  • Place your ring fingers at the inside of your brows.
  • Tap your fingers towards the outside of your brows gently. 
  • Gently press into your temples for one to two seconds.
  • In the same manner, now tap above your cheekbones to the inner corner of your eye. 
  1. Brows – To relax the large muscle at the front of the forehead (the frontalis muscle), relieving stiffness and releasing stress/tension:
  • Rest your fingertips, facing inwards, at the center of your forehead. 
  • Moving them gently towards your temples, press your fingertips into your forehead.
  • Release, then repeat this exercise for approximately 30 seconds. 
  1. Eyes (Pressure Point) – To reduce eye strain throughout the day or before sleeping: 
  • Gently press your fingertips into the inner corner of your eye (roughly 30 seconds).
  • Rotate your fingertips in a circular motion (roughly 30 seconds, in the same inner corner of your eye). 
  • Repeat this circular motion for another 30 seconds in the opposite direction. 
  1. Jaw – To engage the muscles in your jaw (and neck):
  • Sit down, make a fist with your left hand, and place it on the outside of your jaw (thumb facing downward). 
  • Not allowing your hand to move, turn your head towards your fist. You should feel a stretch on the side of your neck. 
  • Hold for a few seconds, then release, repeating on the opposite side. 
  1. Neck – To relieve tension in the neck and increase lymphatic drainage, also improving the appearance of sagging in the neck and jaw/chin, perform the following for approximately 30 seconds (repeating as often as needed for the allotted time): 
  • Slightly tilt your head backwards.
  • Placing your fingers at the top of your neck, gently press as you glide your fingertips down to your collarbone. 
  • Press here (collarbone) for a few moments before releasing.
  1. Face – To increase circulation and promote facial relaxation:
  • Beginning at your forehead, gently and rhythmically tap your skin with your fingertips. 
  • Move in a continual motion along your face and towards your jaw. 
  • Move to the front of your neck, proceeding along your shoulders.
  • Move along the back of your neck, upwards to your head.
  • Rubbing your palms together to generate heat, now cup your hands over your face, breathing into them deeply for several breaths. 
  1. Cheeks – To lift and strengthen cheek muscles:
  • Open your mouth to form an O shape.
  • Positioning your upper lip over your teeth, smile to cause your cheek muscles to lift upward.
  • Now gently place your index fingers on top of your cheek muscles, under your eyes. 
  • Release your cheek muscles, lowering them. 
  • Now, smile again, focusing on lifting those same muscles upwards (towards your eyes). 
  • Repeat 10 times, lowering and lifting the cheeks, holding your cheek muscles in the upward position for 20 seconds on the tenth time. 
  • Repeat up to 3 times.

Keep in mind…

It is important to do these exercises gently as aggressive moments could actually work to accelerate the signs of aging. 

And, it is important to do these exercises with clean hands and a clean face, as dirt, oil, and bacteria can clog pores and lead to breakouts which decrease the appearance of youthful, healthy skin. 

While some believe face yoga isn’t quite enough to negate the need for surgeries, procedures, creams, serums, and the like, overall, many believe its benefits such as in increasing blood and oxygen flow to the skin, promoting collagen production, and improving muscle tone are sufficient to achieve and maintain a healthy youthful appearance. 

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FITNESS

Take Your Fitness to the Next Level with This Customized Plan

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Are you looking to take your fitness to the next level, but aren’t sure where to start? One of the best ways to achieve your fitness goals is by following a personalized plan tailored to your specific needs and abilities. By working with a fitness professional to create a customized plan, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your workouts and seeing real results.

A customized fitness plan takes into account your current fitness level, goals, and any limitations you may have. Whether you are a beginner looking to build strength, an athlete training for a specific event, or someone looking to lose weight, a personalized plan can help you reach your goals more effectively and efficiently.

One of the key benefits of following a customized fitness plan is that it is tailored specifically to your needs. This means that every aspect of the plan, from the exercises you do to the number of sets and reps you perform, is chosen with your goals in mind. This level of specificity can help you avoid wasting time on exercises that may not be effective for you and ensure that you are making progress towards your goals.

Additionally, a customized fitness plan can help you stay motivated and accountable. By working with a fitness professional to create a plan, you have someone to check in with regularly and provide feedback and support. This can help you stay on track and push through any challenges or plateaus that may arise.

To create a customized fitness plan, it is important to work with a qualified fitness professional who can assess your current fitness level and help you set realistic goals. They can also provide guidance on the best exercises to include in your plan, as well as advice on nutrition and recovery strategies to support your progress.

Overall, following a customized fitness plan can help you take your fitness to the next level and achieve the results you desire. Whether you are looking to build muscle, improve your endurance, or lose weight, a personalized plan can provide you with the guidance and support you need to reach your goals. So why wait? Take the first step towards reaching your fitness goals by creating a customized plan today.

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FITNESS

Maximize Your Results with the Perfect Fitness Plan for You

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Everyone wants to see results when they commit to a fitness plan, but finding the perfect one for you can be a challenge. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out what will work best for your body and your goals. However, achieving maximum results doesn’t have to be a guessing game. By following a few key steps, you can tailor a fitness plan to perfectly suit your needs and optimize your results.

First and foremost, it’s important to identify your specific fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, increase endurance, or improve flexibility, having a clear objective in mind will help you choose the right exercises and intensity level to achieve those goals. It’s also important to set realistic and achievable expectations for yourself to prevent burnout and frustration.

Once you have established your goals, it’s time to build a comprehensive fitness plan that incorporates a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Cardio workouts like running, cycling, or swimming can help improve heart health and burn calories, while strength training exercises like weight lifting and bodyweight exercises help build muscle and increase metabolism. Flexibility exercises like yoga or Pilates can improve mobility and prevent injuries.

It’s also important to consider your schedule and lifestyle when creating your fitness plan. If you have a busy schedule, look for shorter, high-intensity workouts that deliver maximum results in a shorter amount of time. If you prefer working out in the morning, find a routine that fits into your morning routine. Consistency is key to seeing results, so choose a plan that you can stick to long-term.

In addition to finding the right mix of exercises, it’s essential to pay attention to your nutrition and recovery. Fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods and staying hydrated will support your workouts and help your body recover faster. Make sure to incorporate rest days into your schedule to allow your muscles to recover and prevent burnout.

Lastly, listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. If a certain exercise or routine isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to try something new. Your fitness plan should be dynamic and adaptable to your changing needs and goals.

By taking the time to create a personalized fitness plan that aligns with your goals, schedule, and lifestyle, you can maximize your results and achieve the body and health you desire. Remember, consistency and dedication are key, so stay committed to your plan and watch as the results start rolling in.

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FITNESS

Muscle Strengthening Found To Lower Risk Of Death From All Causes

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Do you incorporate practices into your daily or weekly routine for the benefit those things bring to your health and well-being? 

Take coffee, for instance. Many folks enjoy their daily cup of joe knowing it can improve cognitive functioning and decrease the risk of certain diseases, even lowering the risk of mortality from all causes. 

Or, what about your sleep habits? Do you aim to get a specific number of hours of restful sleep each night for the purpose of improving cardiovascular health, even adding length to your life? 

Those are only a few examples of both foods and practices that, when incorporated into our lives, can improve our health and may even allow us to live longer. 

And, according to the experts, upon analyzing research spanning more than three decades, muscle strengthening can be added to the list of things we can easily incorporate into our lives to add length to our days!

Spoiler alert: adding just 30 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity per week can help you reap this reward!

So, let’s take a look at the benefits of muscle training (strengthening), and then we’ll look at the science and discover some simple, practical ways you can boost your health and lower your overall risk of death.

Benefits Of Muscle Training

Muscle training, or strengthening, exercises offer a wide variety of benefits to your health, so before we dive into the research, let’s quickly explore just a few of those benefits…

1- Improves Bone Density

Studies show strength training to be capable of significantly increasing bone mineral density. 

This is explained by a few things that occur as you increase the strength of your muscles:

  • Weight-bearing exercises done while standing cause gravity to pull downward on the body, slightly stressing bones and muscles, thereby causing them to strengthen. 
  • Each time a muscle contracts throughout exercise, it pulls on the bone where it is attached. This pulling essentially mimics a trauma, causing the cells in the bone to stimulate the production of structural proteins which work to build up and strengthen the bone. 

2- Improves Mental Health

Strength training has been shown to improve symptoms of both depression and anxiety. 

Some believe, as in the case of high-intensity aerobic exercise, that these improvements are linked to a release of endorphins or increased endocannabinoid levels. 

And, according to research findings from the Harvard School of Medicine, “strength training provides an opportunity to overcome obstacles in a controlled predictable environment, increasing mental resilience.” 

3- Raises Basal Metabolic Rate

When you do strength or resistance training, your body requires specific amounts of energy based on how hard you are working. 

Then, your body continues to burn calories at that rate as it returns to a state of rest even after you’ve finished exercising, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. 

In the case of strength training, after you’ve put in a particularly intense amount of work, this amount is essentially amplified as you then continue to burn calories at this high metabolic rate through recovery. 

Then, as you build lean muscle mass through your efforts, the physical activity that you engage in will require your muscles to burn even more calories as each kilogram of lean muscle mass increases your metabolic rate by upwards to 100 calories per day. 

Mathematically stated: 

  • great efforts put into strength training equal great caloric burn post workout session
  • lean muscle mass built through strength training equals greater calorie burn in your workouts 

4- Helps Maintain A Healthy Weight

Now this may seem obvious after the last point, but those gains in muscle and potential extra calorie burn kick in to aid you as you seek to maintain a healthy body weight.

Not only can you shed pounds with those calorie burn gains, but studies have shown resistance training (one type of muscle strengthening exercise) works to help dieters keep those pounds off, with a weekly commitment to muscle training activity preventing weight gain as well as keeping visceral belly fat at bay. 

5- Controls Blood Sugar

Studies have shown that as you build muscle this also improves the uptake and use of glucose within the muscle. 

Transporters within the cells of the muscle travel to the bloodstream to get glucose and then bring it back to the muscle. When you strengthen the muscle, this makes that process more efficient, bringing more glucose into the muscle thereby lowering blood sugar levels. 

For this reason, people with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises into their weekly routine. 

Research, Muscle Strengthening, And A Lowered Risk Of Death

As we just saw above, and as we’ve known for some time, the benefits of exercise are great, but did you know (aside from the title and intro of this article) that this benefit list includes the ability to reduce the risk of death from all causes? 

However, those benefits can seem vague. After all, how much exercise brings these benefits? 

What type of exercise benefits you the most? And, how much benefit are we talking about here? 

Well, a group of scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have recently analyzed multiple international studies, spanning over three decades, to bring us those answers. 

The studies reviewed included research conducted over the course of 2-25 years on adults who were healthy (lacking any major health concerns), with a centralized focus on 16 particular studies from the United States, England, Scotland, Australia, and Japan. 

These studies involved a large number of participants, both men and women, from samples with as few as 4,000 to as many as nearly 480,000 people, including ages ranging from 18-97.

Participants in each study did a variety of physical activities, including aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises. 

And, as the team analyzed the data, one thing stood out: you don’t have to exercise for hours and hours each week to improve your health and reduce your risk of death!

Incorporating just 30-60 minutes per week of muscle strengthening exercises proved to lower the risk of death from all causes, including heart disease and cancer, by 10-20%. 

Even better, when strength training activities were combined each week with aerobic exercise, the risk of death decreased by 40%, the threat of cardiovascular disease dropped by 46%, and the risk of death by cancer reduced by 28%. 

Another bonus? The types of muscle strengthening exercises that will allow you to reap these rewards aren’t only those typically done in a gym setting. 

Muscle strengthening activities are beneficial due to their (positive) impact on your musculoskeletal health. 

And, while those types of activities certainly include lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges, they also include practical work such as heavy gardening and shoveling.

Furthermore, according to the physical health guidelines in the UK, even yoga, pilates, and tai chi, as well as wheeling a wheelchair, lifting and carrying children, and carrying heavy shopping bags are considered to be worthy muscle strengthening exercises as they work to benefit the musculoskeletal system. 

While there were limitations to the analysis done here, such as limited data, a lack of diversity in the population of participants, and data collected through observation as opposed to clinical trials, there is still much to be gleaned from the information reviewed. 

But, this new analysis of data can serve to add to what we’ve already known concerning a reduced risk of death with muscle strengthening exercise, now giving us precise “doses” or prescriptions for how much time we should spend engaging in such activities to reap optimal rewards. 

And, as we mentioned above, that prescription reads: 30-60 minutes spent weekly doing muscle strengthening exercises to lower the risk of all causes of death (by 10-20%), with added benefits to be reaped when including aerobic exercise alongside your muscle strengthening routine. 

References: 

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