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Myth buster: Do facial exercises reduce facial fat?
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Myth buster: Do facial exercises reduce facial fat?

Facial exercises can provide several benefits, including better blood circulation. However, spot reduction lacks scientific validity, say experts
Facial exercises can enhance skin elasticity and provide stress relief
Facial exercises can enhance skin elasticity and provide stress relief. (Photo by Anantha Subramanyam K/Happiest Health)

Various fitness routines and challenges become prominent at different points in time. One such widely acclaimed workout is facial exercises, which are touted as an effective method to reduce facial fat. Facial exercises, ranging from simple pats to measured stretches, can provide several benefits. These include better blood circulation, enhanced skin elasticity and stress relief. However, are they effective in removing facial fat? Experts put the claim to the test while listing out the various benefits of doing facial exercises.

Do facial exercises burn facial fat?

Spot reduction — targeting specific areas for localized fat loss — lacks scientific validity, say experts. “Where and how you store fat in the body is influenced by factors like your genetics, hormones, and other factors,” says Gautham Sangappa, fitness consultant and director of Proton Fitness Academy, Bengaluru. “Factors such as hormones and genetics influence how the body responds to overall calorie expenditure and metabolic processes. This happens systematically and fat reduction is not focused on certain body parts.” So, it is not possible to reduce facial fat by exercising because the body loses fat in an incremental manner governed by numerous factors.

What helps burn facial fat?

Facial fat loss occurs as part of the body’s overall fat reduction through processes aided by total calorie expenditure and exercise. “If you want to lose facial fat, you must focus on nutrition. Eat only as much as you need and stick to a calorie-deficit diet,” says Sangappa. 

A proper workout regimen consisting of cardio and resistance training also plays a key role in fat reduction. “Cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging, running, skipping and swimming, where you engage your bigger muscle groups rhythmically for an extended period, are ideal for fat reduction. Similarly, resistance training promotes higher calorie burn and enhanced fat loss — including facial fat loss — throughout the body by raising the metabolic activity of big muscle groups,” explains Sangappa.

However, according to Dr Mutharaju KR, a bariatric surgeon and weight loss specialist from Bangalore, not everyone can reduce their body fat with just diet and exercise. “Not everyone experiences fat loss in the same manner. Along with other variables, it depends on an individual’s body mass index [BMI],” explains Dr Mutharaju. “When a person has obesity and their BMI is over a certain level, they might need bariatric surgery for fatloss.”

The real benefits of facial exercises

While they may not help in the reduction of facial fat, exercises for the face have several advantages. The substantial number of nerves and blood vessels on the face can be activated by stimulating the nerves, thus facilitating blood flow. From improving muscle elasticity and strength to stress relief, facial exercises help in diverse ways.

Takeaways

  • Variables, including hormones and genetics, influence weight loss. The body responds to overall calorie expenditure and metabolic processes rather than concentrating on specific body regions for fat reduction. This makes it hard to burn facial fat with just facial exercises.
  • Facial fat loss occurs as an outcome of overall fat reduction, which can be accomplished with dietary modifications and an effective exercise routine that includes both cardio and resistance training.
  • Facial exercises may not be effective for facial fat loss. However, they are beneficial in improving muscle elasticity and strength as well as providing stress relief.

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