How to strengthen your weaknesses

How to strengthen your weaknesses

Whether you have a physical ailment you want to resolve, or it’s your willpower you need to work on, these tips should help you gain inner and outer strength

Whether you have a physical ailment you want to resolve, or it’s your willpower you need to work on, these tips should help you gain inner and outer strength

A strong body and mind are vital when it comes to making you feel confident and full of life.

No one wants their creaky knees to stop them from hitting the dance floor, or their weak willpower to prevent them reaching their goals.

From physical exercises to psychological tricks, these 18 suggestions should help you become a stronger woman from top to bottom, inside and out.

For weak knees

Knees work hard for us, and over time you will probably notice that they ache if you’re climbing stairs, hills, or even sitting with your legs bent for a good amount of time – in the cinema, for example.

There are ways you can ease this by strengthening the ligaments and muscles around your knees. Try the following exercises:

N.B. If you suffer with knee pain or any other health issues, always consult your doctor before trying a new exercise.

  • Stretch your knees out by sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Cross one leg over the other and pull the crossed knee in as close as you can to your chest. Hold in place for a few seconds then repeat with your other leg.
  • For gentle knee strengthening, stand on one leg then bend at the knee. Put your other foot back on the floor before straightening both legs again. Repeat 10 times on each side for three sets.
  • Stand on the bottom step of your stairs. Bend one leg and slowly lower your other foot to the floor, gently touching it with your toe before bringing it back up. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch legs.
  • A brisk walk is great for keeping your leg muscles strong and your knees limber, and swimming, particularly breast stroke, will help to strengthen your knees without pressure on the joints. Strengthen your supporting leg muscles, especially the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, by doing lunges and squats.
  • Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, such as fish, avocados, olive oil, flax seeds and fruit and veg.

For a weak lower back

The lower back is a weak spot for many, with a dull ache if you stand for too long, or a twinge if you try to lift something heavy.

Strengthening the back should relieve the pain, so try the following:

N.B. If you suffer with back pain or any other health issues, always consult your doctor before trying a new exercise.

  • Stretch out your lower back by getting on all fours and flexing your back by looking up and pushing your bottom up and out. Then arch your back, pulling your stomach in, before moving back so you are sitting on your heels with your arms stretched in front of you.
  • Gentle sit-ups will help strengthen your core muscles, helping to support your back. Try gently raising your arms up in front of you – as if you’re reaching for a trapeze – as you raise your torso, and holding your position just above the ground for 1-2 seconds before lowering and repeating.
  • Lean on your kitchen table and bend over as far as you can with slightly soft knees. Lift one leg towards the ceiling slowly and hold for five seconds. Repeat with the other leg, doing 4-5 reps each side.
  • Lie on your front with your arms bent and your hands in line with, and close to, your shoulders. Lift your upper body away from the floor, using the muscles in your lower back, with your arms simply helping to support you. Hold for a few seconds before lowering and repeating. Try to do three sets of 5-10 lifts.

For weak hair

It’s not just your body that gets weaker over time, but your hair too. With all the styling and dyeing, hair breaks more easily so you’ll probably suffer with split ends and straggly locks.

Try these tips to help your hair regain its youthful resilience:

  • Wash your hair with Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect shampoo and conditioner. Now with new Smart Pro-V, it specifically targets the weak spots in your hair and strengthens* for invincible hair down to the last centimetre.
  • Dial down the heat setting on your hair dryer and straighteners, or even better don’t use them at all. Let your hair air dry when possible and leave it in its natural state – you could tie your hair back loosely in a coiled hairband before bed to avoid bedhead. Brush through in the morning and spray with a little sea salt spray for casual waves.
  • When brushing your hair, especially when it’s wet, start from the ends to get rid of the tangles and then work your way up to the root to avoid excess tugging.

For your weakness for chocolate cake!

Do all your healthy eating resolutions go out of the window as soon as you’re confronted with a slab of something sweet? Well there is something you can do to strengthen your weakness for all things naughty but nice, too.

When you’re battling that little devil on your shoulder, boost your willpower with these suggestions:

  • Think about how you’ll feel afterwards. Will that piece of cake really make you happy? Or will the guilt actually make you feel worse? Try going out for some fresh air or calling a friend for a chat instead.
  • Wait. Tell yourself you’ll have the treat later. Studies show by denying yourself something, you crave it more. Whereas if you tell yourself you’ll have it later, you can hold off your craving and then it could pass you by altogether.
  • Don’t be in situations where you’re tempted. Don’t keep your food weakness in the house, ask your friend to order your coffee for you so you’re not tempted by the sweets behind the counter, and tell people you’re cutting down on treats, so not to offer you any.
  • Give yourself a break. If you really want that piece of cake, have it. Savour it and then keep the rest of your diet healthy. After all, you only live once.

What are your tips for staying strong? Let us know in the comments section below. 

*strength against styling damage vs non-conditioning shampoo

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