As we age, we worry about lines and wrinkles, but nothing reveals advancing years quicker than a sagging jaw line, a double chin and jowls. A few simple exercises can help keep the jaw line toned and tight. If at any time you feel pain in your neck or jaw, discontinue the exercises.
These exercises don't require equipment. They should be done once a day:
Sit upright and tilt your head back so you are looking at the ceiling. With your lips closed, open and close your teeth as if you were chewing. Repeat 20 times.
Still sitting straight, tilt your head back with your lips closed. Now open your mouth and stick out your tongue downward as far as it will go. Hold the position while you count to five. Repeat five times.
Sitting straight, keep your lips together and push your lower jaw forward. Hold this position for a count of 10, then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise five times.
Still sitting upright, tilt your head back again and look at the ceiling. Extend your lower lip over the upper lip as far as you can and hold it there for a count of five. Repeat the exercise five times.
Lie on your bed on your back with your head hanging down. Slowly raise your head until it is level with your body; hold for a count of 10, then let your head down slowly. Repeat five times.
Use A Ball
These exercises require a ball made of firm foam rubber, five inches in diameter, available in many toy or sporting goods stores.
Put the ball under your chin and tilt your head downward, pressing on the ball. Hold the position for three seconds, then lift your head. Repeat 20 times.
With the ball still under your chin and holding your head straight up, open your mouth wide, pressing your chin down against the ball. Hold the position for three seconds, then relax. Repeat 20 times.
Place the ball against your left shoulder and tilt your head to the left side, touching the ball. Press you head down against the ball and hold for three seconds. Repeat 20 times, then switch to the other side.
Put the ball under your chin again and tilt your head downward against it. With your head bent forward on the ball, open your mouth, pressing your chin against the ball, and hold for three seconds. Repeat 20 times.
If you can't find a suitable ball, you can do the first, second and fourth movements holding your fist under your chin for resistance.
Several devices for toning the chin and neck are available online and in health and beauty product catalogs. One of these is the Neckline Slimmer, a resistance toner for the neck, chin and jaw muscles. It comes with three springs for different levels of resistance.
To tone the neck, place the device so that the bottom rests on the top of your breastbone. Hold it in place with one hand. Place your chin on the chin rest and slowly tilt your head down, compressing the device. Hold the position for two seconds, then raise your head. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.
For chin and jaw muscle toning, place the Neckline Slimmer against the breastbone. Slowly open your mouth, pressing your chin against the device to compress it. Hold the position for two seconds, then release. Do 10 repetitions three times.