Having taut, toned skin and muscles makes us feel good and look great but as time passes by, time may start taking its toll and your body may start to show signs of flaccidity, particularly in vulnerable areas such as the upper arms.
This droopiness and unwanted sag can start to appear from the 30s onwards and affects areas like the abdomen, the thighs, the glutes and of course, the upper arms. There’s lots of factors which could influence this flaccidity, including hormonal changes, diet, lack of exercise, sudden weight loss, lack of exercise, pregnancy and weight gain.
The upper arms are an area of particular concern, with hanging skin and loose muscle tone such a significant problem that it can even impact clothing and getting dressed.
The flaccidity is caused by a reduction in the firmness of the skin, due to a loss of collagen and elastin fibre. There are however a number of ways in which you can improve the appearance, including both natural remedies and exercises too.
Using natural remedies
Using natural ingredients can vastly improve the appearance of the skin, but you use them topically rather than swallowing them. Here’s a few which could help:
- Combine a tablespoon of honey, another of olive oil and a single egg yolk. Apply the solution to the problem areas on the arm and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse off with cold water and pat dry.
- Mix apple juice and cantaloupe juice in equal proportions. Using this liquid, massage the affected areas twice a week.
- Cut a cantaloupe melon into small chunks and then throw into the blender with some water and the juice from a medium-sized lemon. Blend well until a paste forms, and then using a piece of gauze, cover with the mixture and place over the parts of the arms which are flaccid.
Exercising the area
In addition to applying natural remedies, exercise can also help to improve flaccidity in the arms. Performing these exercises on a regular basis can increase muscle mass, which not only tightens the skin, it oxygenates it too.
Water intake should be a minimum of 2 litres per day; this will help the skin to remain toned and hydrated.
Before performing any exercises it’s vital to stretch well; this will prevent pain after exercising as well as any injuries.
Each set of stretches should be carried out both before and after muscle strengthening exercises an should be completed slowly, with each movement controlled. Breathe deeply and smoothly while stretching, repeating the movement at least 5 times on each side.
You can stretch by gently bending at the elbow, taking the hand behind the head. Don’t add any extra weights; the purpose of this is just to give a gentle stretch to the arm muscles to wake them up.
Exercise number 1
- With your legs slightly bent, place your knees on the ground.
- Place your hands flat and palm-down, helping to support your weight. They should be shoulder-width apart, with no bend in the spine and arms held straight.
- Lower yourself to the ground by bending your arms and then straightening them again to rise back.
- Begin with your left leg to the front of the right leg.
- Using a bench to support your left hand, bend forward slightly.
- Bend your right arm, aligning your shoulder and elbow to make a horizontal line, holding a dumbbell.
- Extend the arm backwards and then return to the start position.
- After a number of repetitions repeat using the other arm.
This can be completed wither kneeling or standing but your spine must always remain straight.
- If you’re standing, move your feet slightly apart.
- Extend both arms upwards above your head holding a dumbbell or weight in one hand.
- Grip the arm holding the dumbbell lightly with the other hand.
- Using the dumbbell, bend your elbow to form a 90 degree angle towards your head.
- Return arm to original position and repeat before switching arms.
Foods that can help
Although there are a number of natural remedies that can be applied topically, it’s also possible to eat certain foods to improve the appearance of flaccid arms.
Vitamin C is vital for the body to synthesise collagen so plenty of citrus and red fruits are important, such as blackberries, strawberries and lemon. Salmon is a good source of protein that will help keep the skin well hydrated.
The production of elastin and collagen can also be promoted by eating almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, lentils, peas and garbanzos while lean proteins such as chicken, veal and fish will also have a positive impact on arm flaccidity.