Trouble Spots On Your Body
Trouble Spots On Your Body – Very few people are able to say honestly that they are totally happy with their body. Everyone has at least one gripe – if it is not big feet, it is thin hair or knobbly knees.
All these perceived ‘flaws’ can be improved or disguised, but as anyone who has ever tried (and failed) to move the fat that sits on strategic points such as hips, thighs, stomachs, and buttocks knows, it is much easier to hide the flaws than to tackle them. Trouble spots such as these are notoriously stubborn to shift, but it is possible to alter your outline with a combination of diet and exercise.
Any of the following can be discouraging, but remember – each problem has a solution.
1. Slack stomachs. Our stomachs become flabby when the abdominal muscles slacken; this usually happens through lack of exercise. Your abdomen extends from just under the bustline to the groin, and it is packed with muscles that criss-cross to form a wall to hold the abdominal contents in place – a bit like a corset. Exercise is not the only way to keep your stomach flat though: weight is also an important factor and the long-term answer is diet and exercise.
2. Thunder thighs. Thighs (like bottoms and busts) are a great source of discontent, whether it is because they are too flabby, muscular, or skinny. You inherit the basic shape of your thighs, but that does not necessarily mean that you were born with the excess fat that may now be covering them. Thigh size and tone can certainly be altered with the right diet, correct body care and regular exercise. Sports such as cycling, skiing, tennis, squash, and riding (a great inner-muscle firmer) will tone your thighs, as well weight training for specific areas of the body.
3. Large bottoms. There are three large muscles in our buttocks: gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. These create the shape, but not the size, of our rear ends. It is the tone of these muscles and the fatty tissue around them that gives us the bottoms we have. The good news is that buttock muscles respond well to exercise, which means that any effort you put into bottom-toning exercises will be rewarded quite quickly. Locomotive exercises – such as fast walking, running upstairs, and jogging – are especially good bottom trimmers.
4. Slack upper arms. Our arms do not really change shape much during our lives, unless we lose or gain a lot of weight. Muscle tone is the main problem, but, as in the case of thighs, exercise and specific weight training will tone up and re-shape flabby arms; very often, any changes in body shape that happen through exercise and diet are noticeable most quickly on your upper arms.
5. Droopy breasts. Breast shape and size only really change when our weight swings dramatically, or during pregnancy, breast-feeding, menstruation, or if taking oral contraceptives. Gravity is the busts worst enemy, especially if the breasts are not given proper support, because it literally drags the breasts down and slackens their tone. Although the breasts are supported by suspensory ligaments, they do not contain any muscle (the milk glands are buffered by protective fatty tissue) so you cannot noticeably reverse lost tone. However, if you exercise the pectoral muscles beneath your armpits you will give your breasts a firmer base and more uplift.
6. Thick ankles. Trim and slender ankles that seem set to snap with every step are a great asset. But if you are not blessed with these, or if your ankles tend to become stiff and puffy from fluid retention, you need to master the art of deception and brush up on some ankle improving exercises.
Assess the flexibility of your ankles by sitting on a chair or stool with your feet on the floor and, while keeping your heel down pull the rest of your foot up as far as it will go: if the distance between your foot and the floor measures 12-15 cm/5-6 in your joint flexibility is good; if it is between 10-12 cm/ 45 in it is fair; and if it is less than that, your joint flexibility is poor.