Health and fitness: Unsightly cellulite reduced by exercise

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By Kent Pegg

Cellulite. If you have it you hate it and if you don’t have it you fear it.

Despite the fact that cellulite is just plain ordinary fat, its distinctive appearance draws attention and causes frustration for those who have it.

Cellulite gets its unique appearance from the pattern of the connective tissue that separates the fat cells into the areas that hold them. While genetics play an important part in the presence or absence of cellulite, sex is generally the major determining factor.

Men tend to have horizontal or crossed patterns of connective tissue that does not produce the appearance of cellulite. Women, however, often have honeycomb patterns that allow the fat to protrude outward, giving that dimpled, cottage cheese look.

If you have cellulite, there’s good news and bad news.

First the bad news: there are no quick fixes for cellulite. Creams and lotions cannot penetrate into and dissolve the fat cells that are causing the problem.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the wraps and treatments that seem so effective are short-lived. They simply compress the fat cells temporarily and the look returns in about a day. As for liposuction, while fat cells can be removed, the appearance of fat can’t be changed.

The good news, though, is that you can reduce cellulite through proper diet and exercise. Start by examining your diet. Look to eliminate any high calorie foods that you take in and replace them with lower calorie options. Try to get rid of any high fat or high sugar foods first since those are the most likely to cause your body to retain fat.

Next, increase your cardiovascular activity. Some 30-minute sessions performed most days of the week will go a long way toward burning calories and eliminating fat from your body. Vary your cardio workouts to keep it fresh and to keep your body guessing what you’re going to do to it next.

Also, once you’ve gotten the hang of your cardio routine, try interval training to jump-start your fat loss. To interval train, maintain a moderate pace for about five minutes and then increase the intensity significantly for about a minute.

Going back and forth from moderate to high intensity will help you get your heart rate up and burn more calories.

And don’t forget to strength train. There’s no better way to increase your metabolism and keep your body burning calories all the time. Start with five to seven weight lifting exercises for different body parts. Do two to three sets of between 12 and 15 repetitions. Perform at least three days of weight training each week.

If you’re new to weight lifting or have any physical challenges, get some advice from a professional.

Remember to start with light weights and increase the weights as you gain strength.

You’ll be surprised how fast your body will respond when you’re on the right program.

So if you’re battling the cellulite bulge, take heart. There is no magic pill that will help you, but you can reduce or eliminate that cellulite by eating right and putting in a little time and effort in the gym.


Kent Pegg is a certified personal trainer and the owner of the Los Alamos Fitness Center.  If you have any questions about this information, you can call him at 662-5232.