[This article originally appeared on The Alternative Daily here.]
With time and gravity working against us, we’re often left wondering what the heck happened to our breasts. The truth is, sagging breasts are unavoidable, but you can at least put them off for a little longer with some small changes to your routine. Without turning to surgery, it’s time to give your breasts the support they deserve — naturally.
Myths about sagging breasts
There’s a lot of misinformation out there. So, before we get started, let’s quickly explore some of the myths surrounding changes to breast tissue:
- Does breastfeeding cause sagging? No, according to this study. If anything, it has to do with weight fluctuations and a high BMI.
- Does wearing a bra prevents sagging? No, it may actually make sagging worse.
- Do small breasts sag? Yes they do, just not as much.
Now that we’ve got out of the way, let’s look at ways to defy gravity in the comfort of your own home. If your breasts aren’t quite like they were in your twenties, give some of these tricks a try:
1. Avoid yo-yo dieting
Believe it or not, your diet may have something to do with the size and health of your breasts. Yo-yo dieting is particularly harmful, since it forces your breasts to shrink and grow on a continual basis. Do this over the long haul, and you may be left with sagging skin. Try to be as consistent with your food choices are possible.
Your diet may also help you to enhance breast growth naturally. Try eating the following foods to see if it makes a difference to the health and vitality of your breasts:
- Dairy products
- Healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil)
2. Give yourself a coconut oil massage
There’s no scientific evidence on this one yet, but anecdotal evidence suggests that giving your breasts a massage two or three times a week can stimulate blood flow and improve the elasticity of the skin. If you’re going to give this one a try, use a nourishing oil with health benefits like coconut oil for best results.
3. Enroll in a yoga class
There are countless benefits to yoga, from lowered blood pressure to reduced back pain to weight loss. A dedicated yoga practice can help firm up every muscle group in your body, especially with Hatha or vinyasa flow. And hey, all those plank and chaturanga exercises will do your girls good. Enough said.
4. Ditch your bra
Some researchers have concluded that wearing a bra does more harm than good. Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports scientist from the University of Besancon, France, reported some interesting findings about bras in a 15-year study. He found that bras weakened the muscles that held up the breasts. Turns out, women who never wore bras had nipples seven millimeters higher in relation to their shoulders than users who regularly wore a bra, on average.
“Medically, physiologically, anatomically — breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra,” he said. So there you go. If you live in the UK, you can at least leave your bra at home on October 13th — that’s National No Bra Day.
5. Build your chest muscles
Exercise won’t address sagging skin, but it will build up those muscles behind your breasts to help hold up the girls. Here are a handful of exercises that target the pectoralis major muscle group:
- Pec-dec flys
- Dumbbell flys
- Incline bench press
- Decline chest press
- Overhead press
6. Quit smoking
If you want to stay perkier for longer, it might be time to stomp out cigarettes for good. Smoking destroys the elasticity of your skin — and your breasts are no exception. In a study published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal, researchers found that smoking and a high BMI contributed to sagging breasts in 93 participants. Yikes! All the more reason to quit.
7. Sit and stand up straight
This one may not actually help with sagging skin, but it could at least help give the illusion of perkier breasts! Think about it: if you’re hunching over all the time, you’re sending gravity downwards. Do your chest a favor and fix your upright position. In addition to a lifted bosom, you’ll support digestion and overall health with better posture.
— Hilary Lebow