Cellulite is fat deposited in pockets just below the surface of the skin. Because this fat is close to the surface of the skin, the National Institutes of Health says it can lead to a dimpled appearance. Although cellulite won’t cause medical problems, it can be unsightly. The good news? If you exercise regularly, you’ll decrease your odds of developing cellulite, or if you do, the cellulite won’t be as noticeable. Use these cellulite-removal workout tips for smoother, cellulite-free skin.
Cellulite can be identified by its bumpy appearance. Cellulite is more common in women than men and usually appears on the thighs, hips and buttocks. An inactive lifestyle increases the risk of getting cellulite.
Aerobic workouts like walking, jogging or bicycling help reduce cellulite by burning off fat. To affect cellulite fat, stay at 70 to 80 percent of your maximal heart rate for at least 20 minutes. Step aerobics is also an excellent workout for cellulite in the thighs because it hones in on those problem spots. Sign up for a step-aerobics class. Although short 10-minute spurts of exercise may help with weight loss, more rigorous workouts are needed to melt away cellulite. Stair climbing is also effective in targeting cellulite in the thighs, hips and buttocks.
Strengthening the muscles in areas where you have cellulite can make the dimpling less noticeable. Use dumbbells, weight machines, elastic bands or body weight for strength training and focus on routines that strengthen the muscles underneath areas of cellulite. For cellulite in the thighs, do squats. Position your legs far apart and lower yourself into a sitting position. Rise back up, using your thigh muscles to propel you. Strength training helps diminish cellulite by improving body composition and boosting metabolism. The NIH says a slow metabolism may play a role in the development of cellulite.
Massage areas plagued by cellulite after your workout to boost circulation. Increasing circulation may help diminish cellulite. In fact, some cellulite treatments are based on the concept that vigorous massage will increase blood flow and reduce excess fluid in cellulite-prone areas. One cellulite-banishing method uses a hand-held machine to knead skin between rollers; but self-massage or asking your partner to massage cellulite-prone areas may do the trick. Using circular motions, massage areas where cellulite is noticeable.
Dehydration may play a role in cellulite, according to the NIH. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout to help remove cellulite and keep it from coming back. Stick with a healthy, balanced diet. Fad diets and weight fluctuations due to yo-yo dieting may increase the risk of cellulite, according to the NIH. Liposuction is not recommended for cellulite because it can make the dimpling look worse, the NIH warns. Losing weight with exercise and a healthy diet is the most beneficial cellulite treatment.
- University Of Maryland Medical Center: Cellulite
- American Council on Exercise: Exercise and Cellulite
- U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health: Cellulite
- Wayne Westcott, co-author of "No More Cellulite" and YMCA fitness research director in Quincy, Massachusetts
Jan Sheehan is an award-winning medical and nutrition writer, having entered journalism in 1992. She is a former contributing editor for "Parents" magazine. She has also written nutrition articles for "Self," "Fitness," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Health" and other magazines. Sheehan has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Purdue University.