Posted by: Lucy | 2007/08/26


Hi Fitness Doc

Is there any special exercises that I should be doing to reduce Cellulite on my thighs & bum (upper legs)?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Lucy

Cellulite, as you may well know, is just fat deposited beneath the skin in 'packages'. This is responsible for the orange peel appearance. But the point is the combatting cellulite is the same as fighting any kind of excessive fat, an that means you have to aim to reduce body fat percentage. Reducing your body fat percentage depends on a few things. First, there is diet, and I can't emphasize strongly enough how important diet is. You can train all you want but if you don't also eat very well, you won't lose body fat, and so I encourage you to see a dietician or find a good diet if you are serious.

As far as exercise goes, it is the cardio training, like cycling, running, stepping, aerobics, walking etc. that is most helpful in burning fat. All these activities cause heart rate to go up, and are increasing your body's metabolic rate, which ultimately causes you to lose weight by burning more fat (again, assuming you are also eating well). So I would say you should continue with what you are doing, keep focussed on the cardio. I think that 4 times a week is the minimum you should aim to exercise, five is probably the ideal number, but four is fine too. The intensity you train is also very important. A lot of times, people train a little too easy, perhaps. I am not saying you should go out and push super hard and exhaust yourself every day, but stepping up the intensity once or twice a week is certainly a good thing. You should aim for a total of 45 minutes or so (anything between 30 and 50 minutes is a good average), and you should finish each session feeling tired, but not exhausted. If you do that, and you eat well, then you should lose weight.

Finally, the weight training is also beneficial, and in this particular case, may hold a very important key to losing weight. The thing about your situation is that you are not overweight, so whereas many people need to aim to lose both weight and body fat, you are probably more in the category of needing to lose body fat and not necessarily body mass. Therefore, doing weight training is good, because it will increase your lean mass (causing body weight to potentially rise) and help, in the long term, to reduce body fat (which would cause body weight to fall). Overall then, you stay at the same weight, but with lower body fat percentage. Weight training also has a different effect - by doing weight training, you increase your muscle mass, and that means that you body's metabolic rate is lifted. This helps, in the long term, to burn fat.

So just keep it up, give it a few months to work - remember, you have to be consistent, one month of training, one month resting is not really that effective, it should be a steady training period over many months to really see great results.

Good luck

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