Do you struggle with acne scars? Acne is normally caused by changes to your hormones as a teenager, but it can also run in the family or be part of another condition, like Cushing’s syndrome. Many people think that acne is caused by eating too much greasy food, but this is totally inaccurate.
If you dislike your acne scars, you don’t have to pay for expensive medical treatments; there are actually lots of natural ways to get rid of acne scars! These treatments are safe, easy to use and non-harmful – perfect!
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the best natural moisturizers, and it has lots of healing properties. Wash your hands, and then let ¼ of a teaspoon of coconut oil melt into a paste in your hand. Directly apply it to your face with your fingertips, and leave on for as long as you want.
2. Potato Juice
If you want to get rid of acne scars quickly, try using potato juice. Potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals which help your skin to heal. Slice a potato and put the slices on your face for 15 minutes, then rinse the juice off your face with warm water.
Honey can help to remove scars, and raw honey is much more effective than processed honey. You can buy raw honey at your local farmer’s market or at a health store. Simply massage a small amount of honey over your acne scars and leave it on for as long as you want.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel is a great source of vitamins, which helps to fade acne scars. Let the gel soak into your face for half an hour before washing your face and patting it dry.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider is a natural disinfectant that helps to balance the pH level of your body. It is also antibacterial and antiseptic, so it is a very effective way to treat acne! Mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water and apply to your acne scars with a cotton ball. Leave for 10 minutes then wash your face and pat it dry. You can do this once a day until you notice results.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can get rid of acne scars by helping to lighten the scars. Mix one part lemon juice with one part water than then apply to the acne scars. Leave it on for 20 minutes before washing your face and applying moisturizer.
7. Ice cubes
Rubbing an ice cube on your acne will immediately reduce redness and inflammation. Wrap the ice cube in a cloth and hold it against the scars for a few minutes for best results.
Tea tree oil is antibacterial, antiseptic and anti fungal, and it is one of the best ways to get rid of acne scars. Mix 2 drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of water, and apply the solution to your scars with a cotton ball. Remember never to use undiluted tea tree oil on your skin – it is too strong for your skin and can cause further damage.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda helps to get rid of acne scars by helping your skin to shed. Mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water, and apply the paste to the scars. Leave for 3 minutes then wash your face with cool water.
10. Olive Oil
Olive oil is very skin friendly as it is filled with vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin C. Apply olive oil to your scars and massage it in. Leave the oil on your face for an hour before washing off with cool water.
Cucumber is hydrating and filled with vitamins – perfect for getting rid of acne. Put cucumber slices over the scars and leave there for 30 minutes, then rinse your face. You can do this every day for great results!
12. Sugar Scrub
Sugar scrub helps to remove acne scars by shedding the skin. Mix 3 teaspoons of sugar with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then leave on your face for 20 minutes. Wash your face afterwards with soap.
However, it is important to note that prevention is better than cure. You can prevent acne scars forming by following these steps;
Don’t mess with your acne – picking and squeezing the spots means they are far more likely to leave scars.
Wash your face regularly – this will help to prevent acne outbreaks that may result in scarring.
Cover up your scars in the sun – over time your scars will get lighter, but the sun slows the process down and makes the scars darker.
Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.
Why is it important to train up our core strength?
There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.
This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.
Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.
In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.
One Exercise, multiple benefits
There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.
By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.
When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.
Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.
In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.
What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.
What will happen when you start doing planks every day
1. You’ll improve core definition and performance:
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:
Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.
2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column
Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.
Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.
3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism
Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).
4. You’ll significantly improve your posture
Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .
A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.
A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.
On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.
5. You’ll improve overall balance
Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!- but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.
6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before
Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.
7. You’ll witness mental benefits
Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.
How to hold a plank position
Get into pushup position on the floor.
Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
Hold the position for as long as you can.
Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
Watch the video if you have any doubt!
Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:
How to improve your plank time gradually
Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.
Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.
Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?
You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:
After prolapse surgery
Pelvic pain conditions
Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.