Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cellulite! Can we get rid of it for good?



 Even the word is yucky! Unfortunately it's something almost every woman (well I know I do) struggles with no matter what their size or shape.
 I have it but what is it anyway?
  I know you know that cellulite is the dimpled, puckering appearance women get mainly on their butts and thighs.
 (Yeah that's right mainly women get cellulite! You would think that with everything else we have to deal with, the universe would have given cellulite to men!  Oh well,  we did get the brains!.....)
   If you look at the diagram above, illustrating the three layers of skin we have, you will see the third layer is where the subcutaneous ( beneath the skin) fat lies. This is where cellulite is created. Fat is stored in " standing fat chambers" that are separated by connective tissue. Cellulite occurs from projections from those chambers pushing up to the dermis level and causing the bumpy effect.
 I have way more now than I use to!
   It's cruel, but as with a lot of things, cellulite gets worse with age. The reason we seem to get more cellulite as we get older, is because after the age of 30  the dermis starts to get thinner and the connective tissue between the fat cell chambers weaken, allowing more fat cells to protrude through the skin. Although cellulite can be anywhere on the body, the reason why it shows up mostly on our thighs and butts is because as women, we have more fat storage in these areas.   Slender women can have cellulite as well as heavier women because it has to do with the structure of the skin below the surface. However, women with more muscle definition do tend to have less cellulite showing than women with less muscle.
  Myths about cellulite
  It's a isn't
  It is due to circulation problems in you's not
  Liposuction will get rid of it ...actually liposuction makes it worse.
  Massaging cellulite will make it go away. Massaging the area only creates inflammation.  After massaging, swelling occurs around the cellulite and for a short time, might make it less visible, but does not get rid of it.
  Creams will make it go away. The truth is there aren't any creams that will get rid of cellulite. (But if you have found one let me know!!)

   All of this is depressing I know. So what's a girl to do?

  Although we can't really get rid of it for good, studies have shown that females with low percentages of body fat have less cellulite and minimize the appearance of what they do have. So the best thing to do is to focus on eating cleanmaking sure to avoid sugar, processed carbs and saturated fats. Also drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and exercise intenselyespecially concentrating on strength training 3 times a week.
   You knew I was going to say that right?

  Since the subcutaneous fat rests on top of muscle, its crucial to build up that muscle to minimize the appearance of cellulite. When it is weak and not defined, you see the dimpling and uneven effect of cellulite more pronouncedly.

 Here are some great lower body exercises,  that you can do AT HOME or in the gym to minimize the look of cellulite.
Work up to 3 sets of each with 12-15 reps.
 Do these as body weight exercises first and then when you are ready, progress to adding free weights in you hands while you do them. Start with light weights (3-5 lbs and progress upwards)
Lunges (front, backwards, side, walking)
Wide leg/Sumo squats
Step Ups
Hamstring curls on stability ball

Using resistance bands:
Hip adductions for the inner thighs.
Hip abduction exercises for the outer thighs.
Hip extensions for back of glutes and thighs

Plyo Squat Jumps: Squat down low, and jump up trying to touch the ceiling, land in squat. Repeat. Try to build up to 15 jumps. Plyo jumps are only for someone who has been working out for more than 6 months on a continual basis.

Plyo lunge Jumps: Similar to plyo squat jumps but start in a lunge position, jump up in the air switching your legs and landing with legs on the ground in opposite lunge position. Repeat on the other side. That is one rep. Work up to 15 reps. Again, these jumps are not for the beginner exerciser.

**As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before starting anything new to see if it is safe for you to do.****

Don't forget to add intense exercise throughout the week to get rid of as much fat on top of your muscles as you can.

So while there isn't a quick fix and we can't get rid of cellulite for good, we can fight the good fight against it and maybe gain some ground!

Let me know if  you struggle with this like I do!

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