Yes, dimples can be cute, but not when they appear on your legs and thighs, right? 90 percent of women suffer from it and say they know what it's like to reach for pants instead of shorts in the hope of hiding unwanted lumps and bumps.
But the good news is that with a little willpower and work you can dramatically reduce cellulite and tone your booty so you'll be able to step out and look fabulous in absolutely anything!
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is essentially the result of fat cells, trapped toxins and water in the uppermost layers of the skin. Research suggests that cellulite is related to the female hormone oestrogen, which is why women suffer from it.
Many factors contribute to the development of cellulite, including:
- Diet: foods containing toxins, for example fried food, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, salt, are all cellulite's friend.
- Lifestyle: poor blood circulation due to lack of exercise, too much stress and lack of water will result in lumpy legs.
- Genes: your body type is most often dictated by your family history, so if your mum suffers from bad cellulite, chances are you will too.
- Hormones: hormonal changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels which dictate how much fat your body stores or releases affects cellulite. Pregnancy or oral contraceptives can add to this.
- Age: as the tone and condition of the skin declines with age, its ability to aid in the nutrition process for underlying tissues also declines.
So how do I get rid of it?
The exciting news is that there's a perfectly healthy, natural way to banish cellulite and make sure it stays away for good. It's free, relatively easy and will show benefits in other areas of your life as well. What is it? Yes, surprise, surprise, it's exercise.
"Good eating and a proper fitness schedule is without a doubt the best way to make cellulite disappear," says personal trainer Phil Nakkan. "You can try all the miracle cures you like, but if you want a long-term, healthy solution, then exercise is key."
If you can afford it, see a personal trainer for a session so he or she can detail a specific program for you. Otherwise consider one of the Bootcamp training groups, as they tone all areas of your body. There are also some great DVDs on the market that can steer you in the right direction or you can join your local gym and take some classes Pilates, dance, pump and step are all good for targeting cellulite-prone areas.
Basically, you need to be doing a combination of weight training and cardio exercise. Strength exercises are important because you need to build up muscle tone. You'll need to do around 20 minutes at least three times a week.
Lunges and squats for your legs are brilliant and sit-ups will tone your abs. It could be a good idea to invest in a few lightweight dumbbells (you can get them for around $15 each from sports stores) and do some upper body work as well. Boxing and push-ups are also good for your arms. Try and do around 10 repetitions of each exercise and then increase by five reps every three weeks.
Cardio is also necessary for reducing the underlying fat that is causing your unwanted dimples. Again, aim for around 20 minutes three times a week and vary between jogging, skipping, swimming, dancing and bike riding. Walking is also good, but remember, you'll burn more than twice as many calories if you run. You can also try walking up hills or stairs it'll work wonders for your bottom too!
As well as regular exercise, flush out toxins by drinking lots of water and include fresh fruit, nuts, vegetables, eggs, fish and wholegrain bread in your diet, as Vitamin B, antioxidants and essential fatty acids will rebuild and fortify your cells. You can also try taking a multivitamin daily.
lots of beauty salons now offer what they call body wraps claiming to banish cellulite. They involve enveloping parts of the body in cloth permeated with herbal extracts, seaweed and mud. It produces a body-shaping effect as the result of perspiration and compression, but it's only temporary. Thus, they're great for relaxation and softening the skin, but they're not a miracle cure for cellulite.
Endermologie: using a high-powered, handheld massage tool that consists of a treatment head and two motorised rollers, it lifts and rolls the skin to stimulate the venous and lymphatic systems, thereby eliminating toxins. To get the best results, you'll need 10 to 20 treatments and one or two maintenance treatments per month. At a cost of around $45 to $65 per session, it's an effective but expensive option and exercise and a healthy diet are still necessary.
Massages: not only do they pamper, they also stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems that break down fatty tissue. So de-stress your muscles and give yourself a massage, bribe a partner or splurge once a month. Skin brushing using a massage brush in an upward movement for a couple of minutes a day can also boost circulation.
Creams: there are loads of lotions on the market that claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite and this is just what they'll do target the "appearance". They'll only improve the skin's top layer by firming it up, but that's got to be better than nothing, right?
So, the answer to cellulite is to engage in a healthy, active lifestyle and try and fit in the occasional beauty treatment. It's not rocket science, but add a dash of self confidence and hopefully you'll be on the fast track to a hot body before you can say "cottage cheese, anyone?"