It’s Gone All Baggy!

However, the sagging skin on the body, for me at least, came as a bit of a shock; it doesn’t look like an elephant’s backside just yet but it has certainly drawn my attention and made me question the wisdom of being in downward facing dog in front of other people.

There I was, quietly minding my own business in downward facing dog pose, when I noticed something strange; the skin on my arms appeared to be slipping. Up until this point I’d never really wondered what is was that kept my skin attached to the rest of me but I’d always kind of assumed that, whatever it was, it wouldn’t just stop working.

downward facing dog
This is not me as you can see from the firm, non-sliding skin

Obviously, everyone knows about wrinkles, the lines around the eyes and mouth that appear as we get older and we all know that there is plethora of treatments that women are quite happy to pay billions of $ for each year. However, the sagging skin on the body, for me at least, came as a bit of a shock; it doesn’t look like an elephant’s backside just yet but it has certainly drawn my attention and made me question the wisdom of being in downward facing dog in front of other people.

The baggy skin issue occurs because, as we get older our bodies produce less collagen and elastin which are basically our natural ‘plumpers’. So, what can we do about it? Well, fortunately there are things that we can add to our diet that will promote collagen production:

Look for foods containing Omega 3 such as oily fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon etc), green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds as these will encourage your body to form more collagen.

papaya-mango-ananasAlso seek out foods that are rich in vitamins A and C as both are required by the little biological factories that we call our bodies to increase collagen output. Orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A and look to fruit to up your vitamin C intake, especially papaya, mango and pineapple (yum! what a delicious combination!).

In addition it’s worth looking at dietary supplements; it’s possible to buy marine collagen, omega 3 and more vitamins than you can shake a stick at in capsule form. I have found that natural supplements do work; I recently ran out of vitamin C and have noticed that, since I stopped taking it, the elephant’s arse skin seems to be making more of a come back!

bingo wing exercisesThe other thing that stimulates collagen production is exercise and the right types of exercise will build muscle in the areas that seem to suffer most from baggy skin syndrome: upper arms and tops of the thighs. Well-defined muscles will give shape where you need it most and will detract from aging skin.

If you want to keep your skin looking as youthful as possible then make sure that you keep properly hydrated (consider the difference between a plum and a prune and you’ll see why). Everyone knows that water is extremely beneficial to our health and that applies even more as we get older.

The last thing to consider are the creams, lotions and potions that are marketed as ‘miracle cures’ for sagging and aging skin but do they work? All of the products that I’ve tried (and there have been many) certainly made my skin feel a little softer but none of them addressed the baggy issue if I’m honest so I’ve gone back to using coconut oil which has much the same effect and is considerably cheaper.

However, as an aside I have recently discovered a combination of oils which have worked wonders with the skin on my face. As we get older, not only do we have the baggy skin problem, it also seems that our pores want to get in on the act and go from being shy, retiring and practically invisible to showing off and forcing themselves centre stage.

If you want to slap them back down try pure Argan Oil (which is non greasy and easily absorbed) with a couple of drops of Neroli oil (which promotes skin regeneration and improves elasticity). I’ve started using this morning and night and have really noticed a difference! Every couple of days I also swap the Neroli oil for Rosehip oil at night as this really seems to help hydrate my skin when it’s feeling dry and itchy.

There you have it – my recommendations for keeping elephant’s arse skin at bay for as long as possible :O) x

 

Funny Faces

When I first came across the video I couldn’t help but give it a go – I spent the first couple of minutes in fits of laughter imagining the way I must look but I kept going and really enjoyed the experience.

Would you be prepared to pull some funny faces if no-one was watching? If it was just you and the mirror? If so, face yoga might be just the thing for you and it could help keep those wrinkles at bay! I do a number of the exercises regularly and have found that they do make a difference over time but then I’m a huge fan of yoga in whatever form it arrives.

Just because the years are passing by it doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything about the signs of aging, there are many things that we can do to keep our bodies fit and agile such as yoga but did you know that we can also do the same thing for our faces? Just as you can relax and tone muscles in your body through yoga postures, you can also relax and tone muscles in your face with face yoga. It is said that the series of exercises will work all layers of the skin which will increase blood circulation; this will allow more oxygen and nourishment to reach the cells of the skin. We lose collagen and elastin in our skins as we age but face yoga techniques are designed to promote production of both which will give you smoother and tighter looking skin.

The exercises need to be done regularly, 20 minutes a day is recommended, but it’s promised that you will see results quickly. Some plastic surgeons say that face yoga cannot possibly work but many people swear by it plus it’s non-invasive and painless so why not? The video below gives a short explanation of the process and also how to lose a double chin – a good one for pretty much everyone and great fun to do:

Danielle Collins explains: “Just as your body needs regular exercise to stay toned and firm, the 57 muscles in the face and neck also need to be exercised, as they become stronger they are lifted and firmed and the skin attached to the muscles is tautened, reducing lines and wrinkles.” The massage moves increase circulation, lymph flow and remove toxins, improving skin tone, reducing puffiness and dark circles.

These pictures will give you an idea of the sort of faces you can expect to be pulling if you decide to give face yoga a try, admit it, you’re tempted aren’t you? When I first came across the video I couldn’t help but give it a go – I spent the first couple of minutes in fits of laughter imagining the way I must look but I kept going and really enjoyed the experience.

Yoga has been keeping bodies and minds in shape for over 5000 years so it’s pretty much tried and tested and, best of all, it’s free and you can do it in the privacy of your own home so what have you got to lose ;O)

Going South

It’s a sad fact of life that, as we get older, various bits of our bodies that used to be bouncy and perky tend to gravitate south…..

“I remember the moment I first became aware of aging. I was 30. I looked down at my knees, and the skin above them had become a little loose. And I thought, ‘And so it begins!’  Kate Christensen

It’s a sad fact of life that, as we get older, various bits of our bodies that used to be bouncy and perky tend to gravitate south; what were once high round globes are now more like the balloons that someone forgot to take down a week after a party!

Fortunately there are things that we can to ‘perk’ ourselves up. Eating the right foods and doing the right exercises won’t give you the body of a 20 year old super model  but they will help you to look as good as you possibly can.

As we get older the collagen in our skin starts to break down and our bodies are just not as good at repairing the damage as when we were younger so we need to think about what we can eat to encourage collagen production. Essentially we need to load up on foods that contain the vitamins which do exactly that, namely, A, C and E. So, from the top:

For foods that are rich in vitamin A think green and orange; we should definitely be adding dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale, to our shopping baskets as well as sweet potatoes and carrots if we want to boost our vitamin A intake. We should also be eating more eggs and, love it or hate it, beef liver.       download (7)

To up vitamin C levels think fruit; citrus fruits, strawberries and kiwi are fantastic sources! almonds-avocado

 Vitamin E is another collagen booster and it’s found in green leafy vegetables and sweet potatoes as well as avocado but, for a real boost, add a small handful of almonds to daily food intake.

Once we’ve sorted out what we can put into our bodies to help our skin retain its elasticity we need to focus on what we can do to firm our muscles so that we have a better chance at fighting gravity……

Walking will certainly to keep the muscles in our lower bodies toned but, if we want to target saggy bums specifically, we need to think about squats, clams and bridges. If it’s an uplift for our boobs that we are looking for then our exercise regime needs to include planks, push ups and bench presses.