Friday, September 6, 2013

Part III - Exercises to improve your quality of life

This is Part III of this series of exercises to improve the quality of your life as Kennedy’s Disease progresses causing lifestyle changes. Consider adding at least two-or-three of these exercises and practice them daily. As always, consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Jaw, Mouth and Face Muscles

clip_image002I work hard to keep my facial muscles stimulated. I especially am concerned with mouth droop and weak jaws (creating problems chewing), so I work those muscles every day.

  1. Large Smile: Make the sound “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” as you stretch your mouth muscles into a large smile. You should be able to feel throat muscles vibrate (stretch). Hold the smile until you have to take a breath. Perform ten of these each day. This exercise also works the lungs and throat.
  2. Say ‘AH’: Make the sound “AAAAAHHHHHH” as you stretch (exaggerate) your jaw downward. This exercise also works the lungs and throat.
  3. Wink: Exaggerate a wink with your left eye (really squeeze the eye closed) and hold for five seconds. Release and now exaggerate a wink with your right eye and again hold it for five seconds. Perform ten winks with each eye each day.
  4. Push out the Cheeks: Expand your cheeks as if you are holding your breath. With your tongue, push out on your left cheek and then your right cheek. Perform this routine ten times.
  5. Jaw Pushes: Place the palm of your hand against the bottom of your jaw. While pressing up with your palm, open your jaw as far as possible. Relax the jaw. Perform this routine ten times.
  6. Big Frown: Close your eyes tight and frown. Raise your eyebrows as far as possible and hold for a count of ten. Perform ten of these.

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