Is your figure disappearing? Are you developing tires of flab where shapely contours used to be? If so, there are many possible causes, from lack of exercise to aging and hormonal changes, as well as over-eating and poor diet. But there’s a simple way of getting your figure back into shape, whatever the cause, through targeted exercises. Here are some easy ones you can do at home anytime, preferably several times a day. They address the critical areas of the body where flab can spoil a beautiful figure, and it’s never too late to get started.
Minimize upper-arm flab
The following exercises will help you turn under-arm flab into muscle. Raise your arms high above your head and hold them there for a few seconds, then repeat several times. With each stretch, reach up with your fingers, then clench your fists, and feel the muscles flexing all the way down to your armpits. Now do some brisk bends and stretches from the elbows, drawing your fists toward your chest, then pushing them outwards. Did you notice how your biceps were working? Now do some marching gestures, thrusting your arms backward and forwards in robust swings. March with your legs, too, if it helps – the more exercise, the better. Finish by swinging your arms around, one at a time, like wheels.
For more muscle-building exercises in the arm area, pretend you’re in the pool and do the breaststroke with your arms, standing, sitting or lying down. Handstands, cartwheels, press-ups, and pull-ups from a bar will all help upper arm elegance too.
Pull your thighs into shape
There are numerous ways to improve muscle tone in the thighs, including simple movements that you can practice around the house in spare moments. Start with some gentle, warm-up leg swings and knee bends, to prepare your leg muscles for more vigorous actions. Grip the edge of a table or work surface to keep you steady so that you can do high swings and floor-touching squats. Rise on your toes, then lift a leg at a time from the knee, as if climbing a ladder. Now extend one leg forward from the hip, as high as possible, and back the other way, bending your back as need be. Do the same with your other leg, and repeat as many times as you can. That will activate the muscles at the back of the upper leg, where flab tends to form.
For further leg exercises, try the traditional ballet “plié,” which involves standing with feet turned outward, and bending and straightening your knees while maintaining a straight back. Stair climbing and hill walking are also excellent activities for toning up the thighs.
Get your waistline back
Standing tall with arms raised overhead, bend your upper body and arms over to one side, then back the other way in a semi-circular sweep, like a tree in the wind. Stretch as high, far and low as you can with each sweep. You’ll feel the muscles around your waist tauten pleasingly with each repetition. In bed at night, and before you get up in the morning, wiggle your waist from side to side and feel those pulls again. Roll over from side to side, for extra toning. Once you’re up, do some sit-ups to flatten your tummy. Can you pull yourself up into “crab” position, belly facing the ceiling? It’s an exciting goal to work towards. Another is to roll up into your shoulders, raising your legs and peddling the air. Finally, stand up and lean over backward a few times. Now you will have worked at your waist from all directions.
Rescue your jawline
A firm jawline will significantly enhance your looks, and if you’re past your first prime, it’ll make you look younger, too. Sagging flesh under your chin can be controlled and sometimes even toned back into shape through muscle-building, although you may need some perseverance with this. Most recommended moves involve protruding the lower jaw, pulling the chin up or stretching the neck upwards. You can also improve the appearance of your neck and jaw by standing tall and holding your head high.
The simplest way to keep up this body-shaping drive is to schedule each exercise into your daily routine. An active lifestyle and a well-balanced diet will also help you hold onto your beautiful figure. Treat your body well, and it will return the compliment.