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FACE the cold, hard truth

Americans spend hours working on their fitness all in the name of flat stomachs, firm rear ends, toned arms and graceful legs, all the components of a slim, attractive physique. However, the one part of the body neglected during spin classes, morning jogs and hot yoga classes the world over is the face.

Our face is covered in muscles that play a central role in the development of wrinkles and sagging skin, the most notorious signs of aging. Although most people believe the only way to avoid the signs of aging is with topical treatments or plastic surgery, one of the best ways to keep the face youthful and wrinkle free is with exercises that strengthen and relax those muscles. Dr. Jacqueline Fulop Goodling is a New York City based orthodontist whose patients often unknowingly benefit from working their facial muscles throughout the course of their treatment, and as a result see anti aging effects.

Many of my patients are adults treated with Invisalign and their tongue is more active in their mouth, they are using it to press their aligners in, they must slightly purse their lips to close comfortably over the aligners, and they even gently stretch out their mouths to accommodate the aligners,Dr. Fulop Goodling explains, adding that each of those movements actually work out a series of muscles on the face and reverse everything from saggy skin to the formation of jowls. Whatever you call it Facercise or Yoga for the Face, it is very important to engage the muscles of your face in order to keep them looking young and healthy. Often the first time my patients experience it is with their orthodontic treatment, but I always encourage them to adopt it as part of their daily beauty routine and keep it up.

1. Wag the tongue
Open your mouth as wide as you comfortably can, and release your tongue. Hold this pose for 60 seconds.

2. Jazzercise
Mimic the inflated cheeks of a trumpet player to engage a series of face muscles.

3. Queen of the Jungle
Reassert your place as the master of your own destiny (or at the very least, the owner of a relaxed looking visage) by inhaling through your nose, making fists and squeezing every muscle on your face possible.

As an orthodontist, Dr. Jacquie was trained in the musculature of the face and is qualified to explain why working the facial muscles is so important and how doing so can play a meaningful role in preventing, as well as reversing, some of the most dreaded signs of aging.