Thursday, 8 December 2016
image:attractiveness/8: arms & hands & sun damage
I have resisted this post, for weeks. Why? Because I don't like the shape of my arms, & sun damage has been rapidly showing on my arms & hands. I guess that's what one eventually gets for childhood & teenage years spent frying for hours in the sun. Yes, I too have emulated a roasting spit by oiling up with coconut oil before cooking in the sun. I spent a day on a boat in Bali a couple of years ago, well actually heaps of the time I was downstairs trying to handle seasickness. And when we got back that night - I had a massive sunspot on my face. When I spent a week in Samoa, despite being real careful regarding the sun, I came back black (according to one of my kids), as I tan very easily.
Culminatively, pay-back time is here for me, obviously, regarding sun damage. Despite many years of being so careful. Despite being naturally olive skinned.
Over the years, I have learnt to apply sunblock to my arms (& exposed area of my chest) before stepping outside. So, that's some prevention, & remember, it's never too late to slow down, or halt, & in many cases, reverse, signs of ageing &/or, neglect.
Wee tips for handling the sun in regards to your skin: look to your diet. Green tea & red, orange & yellow fruit & vegetables reduce sunburn intensity. Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oils & flaxseeds) guard against sunburn. Dark chocolate is also good. Some of these foods, eg carrots, are also believed to reverse sun damage. And I do recall how years ago, the B vitamins, in particular B3, niacin, are recommended during summer as preventing photoaging (sun damage). You can cause a real B vitamin imbalance by taking not taking all the Bs together, so look for foods that contain the Bs. Wheat germ, nutritional yeast, if you can handle them (I love them!) & dairy yoghurt, are all good sources.
What about the shapes of our arms? I do push-ups against a bench, quite often, keeping elbows in close to graze the sides of my ribs, for the triceps. You can also turn your hands in a bit, with thumb tips touching, & index fingertips touching, palms flat. This will create a triangle shape, & will make your elbows point out sideways. Do push-ups, against the wall or a bench, or on the floor, in this position for triceps toning. Our triceps are the bits of arm that store fat, get flabby...ugh!
There are many exercises for the triceps. A very good tip for arm tone is to do a few quick arm exercises, one after the other, without lowering the arms, not even in between the exercises, keep the arms up. This "exhausts" the muscles & is very effective as our muscle fibres then have to do repair work on the affected areas, & this repair work helps build up the muscles.
Take arms out sideways, stiff, palms up, then twist them so that palms turn up, but the opposite way to when you started, keep repeating. This confuses the muscles & it's this confusion that creates the fibre repair. The keeping your arms up sideways & stiff, make fists with your hands, & do circles with your arms, go one way, then do the other. Keep the arms up high, take them behind you with palms up, & lift your arms up & down to tone triceps.
You can also do any of these arm exercises with light weights.
If you start with a couple of each, doing your desired number for one exercise, then going straight onto another...you will feel it!! You can increase the number of each that you do, as you are able. Do all this about 3x a week, on alternate days, so the muscles have a chance to do their repair work.
Alternately, you could just choose one of the above exercises or push-ups, & do 20 every day. Your arms will thank you by developing lovely tone.
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