Face aerobics are a series of facial muscle exercises thought to make a person’s face appear more youthful. Aerobic exercise works because it contracts and relaxes the muscle fibers, resulting in better muscle tone. The facial exercises are believed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore a sagging jaw line. Some people believe that a regular program of face aerobics may provide an alternative option to a traditional surgical facelift.
As a person grows older, the muscles in the face gradually become longer. The facial muscles are directly attached to the skin of the face; as the muscles stretch, the skin stretches too. This causes a person’s face to look different over time.
Before beginning face aerobics, the skin of the face and neck should be moisturized. Then a gentle fingertip massage will increase blood circulation before starting the routine. Looking into a mirror during the face aerobics routine may help a person focus on the muscle groups as they are being exercised.
A common facial exercise involves the forehead and eyebrows. A quick upward movement of both eyebrows is followed by a relaxing of the muscles. The action is repeated ten times.
Another series of facial exercises centers on mouthing the letters of the alphabet. Exaggerated movement of the mouth muscles during the alphabet is key to achieving the best results. Ten to twenty repetitions of the alphabet up to three times a week is generally recommended.
After the alphabet exercise, the next part of face aerobics focuses on the jaw line. The mouth is opened and the lower jaw is moved forward. Once the muscles in the neck are slightly visible from the movement, the jaw is slowly relaxed. There may be a slight popping sound heard as the jawbone moves forward during the exercise. As long as the motion is not painful, it can be repeated from ten to twenty times three days a week.
Some face aerobics programs emphasize repeating certain words in an exaggerated manner to tone the face and neck muscles. Most of the words are spoken very slowly. Some words are arranged into tongue twisters, and spoken quickly to challenge the face muscles as the program progresses. Proponents of this program advise repeating a set of alternating words on a daily basis to achieve the most youthful look in the shortest amount of time.
Shortly after performing the series of facial exercises, a person may notice that her face feels sore when she is talking or eating. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, may be taken to help reduce the aching. Once the facial muscles gain some muscle tone, the face exercise routine should become painless and refreshing.