Health

5 exercises and ways to tone them up

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Don’t panic if your breasts look saggy, as a consequence of breastfeeding. Instead, follow these simple exercises to lift your boobs.

Saggy breasts are a fairly common phenomenon, especially if you’re a nursing mom. Your breasts can look even more saggy if you already have large breasts. Wonder why? Well, breast milk has several health benefits for the baby, but it can impact the size and shape of your breasts. During breastfeeding, milk ducts expand, and blood flow increases, and that causes breast tissues to stretch out, leading to those saggy, fuller, and heavier breasts. 

Dr Chandrika Anand MD, DNB, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Nagarbhavi, tells HealthShots that pregnancy itself causes such changes which may continue through breastfeeding and beyond.

saggy breast
Breastfeeding benefits both the mother and the child! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to Dr Anand, “During pregnancy, changing levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin cause physiological changes to the breast tissue. The ligaments that support the breast tissue loosen and stretch to accommodate the growth of the breasts. All of these changes will happen during the course of your pregnancy, and are not dependent on whether or not you actually breastfeed.” 

In addition, changes in breasts also depend on other factors such as age, genetics, weight gain and loss, number of pregnancies, original breast size, smoking, etc.

Hence, Dr Anand recommends the following exercises to tone and lift your saggy breasts:

Since breasts don’t have muscle, you can’t firm up breast tissue with exercise. However, Dr Anand says, “Beneath the breasts are fibrous connective tissues and muscles that can be exercised to improve the overall appearance of your chest.” There are various chest exercises that are recommended to improve not only muscle strength but posture as well.

Some of these include:

1. Push-ups

  • Get on the mat in the plank position with your palms and toes on the mat;
  • Slowly lower your body until you touch the floor before rising again.
saggy breast
Tone up ypur breast with push-up variations! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Planks

  • This exercise involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.

3. Cobra pose

  • Lie down flat on your stomach with your face down. Extend your arms overhead;
  • Place your arms under the shoulders and close to your chest, palms facing downwards;
  • Relax your feet while pressing the tailbone and lift your torso from the shoulders. Breathe normally. Hold for a few seconds and repeat.

4. Dumbbell press

  • Adjust the bench in an inclined position at an angle of 30-45 degrees;
  • Lie on your back on the bench and hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands;
  • Exhale and push them straight up, directly over the chest. Ensure that your wrists are straight;
  • Hold for a few seconds, and pull them back to your chest
saggy breast
Getting back to your fitness routine can be hard, but it’s not impossible. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Cable crossover

  • Move far enough to put some tension into the band;
  • Take your arms out to the sides, opening up your chest; 
  • Slowly bring your hands together in front of your chest, keeping a slight bend in your elbows throughout the move;
  • Squeeze your chest muscles in this position, then open your arms up again.

So without any wait, start practicing these exercises and see the changes!

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