While maintaining overall fitness is the need of the hour, and exercising different parts of the body is essential, people often ignore the facial muscles.
There are several facial exercises that act on the muscles of the face as well as the layers of skin, thereby increasing the blood circulation. They help in reducing lines and wrinkles, and result in youthful looking skin. In fact, these exercises are also easier and safer alternatives to cosmetic therapies or Botox injections.
Here, we list a few exercises that you can do five days a week, in just about half an hour.
1 Surprise, Surprise
Scrunch your forehead gently by raising both your eyebrows as if you are surprised. This strengthens the forehead muscles, and prevents wrinkles in the long run. Do this three to four times a day.
Scrunch your eyebrows as if you are frowning, and then relax the forehead. This is especially effective in dealing with crow’s feet. Do this three to four times a day.
Blink and miss
Consciously and rhythmically blink your eyes for about three to four seconds. This keeps your eyes well-hydrated, and soothes the muscles around the eyes.
(Exercises 1, 2 and 3 must be done in that order.)
Act like you are chewing gum. This works on flaccid cheek muscles, as it helps make them less chubby and more shapely.
Blow the cheeks as if you are inflating a balloon, and then hold your lips together as if you are whistling. This exercise helps reduce laugh lines. This also firms muscles of the lips. This should be done for a few seconds, at least four to five times a day.
Sit up, drop your lower jaw, and push your jaw outwards, as far as it can go until you feel a tension build up in your cheeks, near your ears. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then draw your jaw inwards. Repeat this 10 times. This can help you define your jawline, and get rid of your double-chin.
Contracting and relaxing the neck by pulling it upwards and sideways helps tone the neck and the chin. Do this only for a few seconds, three to four times a day.
The Shocked Stare
Stare at a distant object with wide eyes, as if you are shocked at what you are witnessing. This increases blood circulation to your eyes. This also helps in reducing eye bags and puffiness around the eyes. It also reduces non-genetic dark circles. Do this for five seconds to begin with, three to four times a day.
The Fishy Pout
Pout like the mouth of a gold fish. This one is especially useful for the chin and the cheeks. Try this at least three to four times a day.
Emulate the gesture of a flying kiss with a poker straight face. This is a highly effective facial exercise. It strengthens the muscles around the mouth, and prevents sagging. Do it four to five times without a break.
(With inputs from Aankush Gupta, fitness personal trainer and Dr Amrapali Patil, yoga guru and founder of Trim N Tone, Powai)