Facial Exercises Rejuvenate the Muscles of Face and Neck
Okay. I admit it. I am a “research junkie”. I know. I know. I’ve been “doing” and teaching facial exercises for well over two decades …. and ….. I’ve found lots of “scientific” evidence for how and why facial exercises work so well besides the obvious results. That is anyone performing a well-rounded facial exercise regime will take 5 to 20 years off their appearance and they will look more natural and rejuvenated than any surgery or procedure can ever give to the face and neck. This is why I was surprised by a new research study that just came out in “Science Daily*” that further supports the effectiveness of facial exercises.
Muscles do not build as well the older we get
When older people eat they cannot make muscle as fast as younger people can. Apparently a “double whammy” affects people especially over the age of 65. As we age we cannot build enough muscle with the protein in food. Also insulin fails to shut down the muscle breakdown that rises between meals and overnight as it – insulin – does in the young. In other words, as we age, the insulin that acts to slow muscle breakdown in the young does not function so well any more. On top of that, the failure to deliver both nutrients and hormones (insulin in this case) to the muscles happens because of a poorer blood supply.
Research studies reveal the difference in muscle building as we Age
How was all this tracked and proven? Researchers compared one group of people in their late sixties with a group of twenty-five year olds. Equal numbers of men and women were in the study. They studied everyone through blood tests before and after eating as well as after giving them a small amount of insulin to raise the hormone to levels as if they had eaten a meal. They tagged one of the amino acids, from which proteins are made, so they could discover how much protein in leg muscle was being broken down during the night.
The results were clear
Younger people’s muscles were able to use the insulin to stop muscle breakdown which had increased during the night and the muscles of the older people could not. On top of that, the blood flow in the leg was much more in the younger people than in the older group. This means that the rate of supply of nutrients to hormones is lower in older people. One reason we see muscles getting smaller and decreasing in strength as people age.
Exercise changes the effects of old age
The next step in the study was to see if exercise could change this “muscle blunting” effect. The researchers found giving older people three sessions a week of exercises over a twenty week period “rejuvenated” the leg blood flow responses. In fact, they became identical to those of the younger twenty-five year olds.
Eureka! I know through exercising the face and neck increased circulation of blood can be as much as ten times greater than normal when you contract a muscle. More oxygen and more nutrients reach the skin cells, as well. Damaged cells are swept away. The results are not only a firmer, younger looking face and neck – you also have a healthier skin with good color. Remember, muscles and connective tissue are challenged through facial exercises.
To sum up
Facial exercises increase the blood flow in the face and neck. This in turn delivers not only more nutrients to all of the cells, it apparently makes available the levels of insulin in older people that are needed to slow down the breakdown of muscle fibers, as well. Facial exercises are a kind of weight training for the face and neck. Those of us who have been doing facial exercises for over an extended period of time have noticed that we continue to look a little bit younger and more fit in the face and neck as we age. Here’s one more “proof” as to why we facial exercisers are looking younger as we grow older.
*University of Nottingham. “Aging Muscles: ‘Hard To Build, Easy To Lose’.” ScienceDaily 12 September 2009. 16 September 2009 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911103807.htm.