Ugh. Cellulite. Yes, that unsightly, dimply-looking skin that everyone hates, yet so many of us deal with. To make matters worse, it is often on our thighs and buttocks. You work out hard, real hard. But is your cellulite getting worse with exercise? Many think so. In this article, I will share what causes cellulite and ways to reduce it with leading experts.
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Let’s get started.
From the Mayo Clinic, “Cellulite is a very common, harmless skin condition that causes lumpy, dimpled flesh on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and abdomen. The condition is most prevalent in women.
Many people try, with variable success, to improve the appearance of their skin through weight loss, exercise, massage, and creams marketed as a solution to cellulite.”
From Healthline.com, “Cellulite is caused by a buildup of fat underneath the skin. Some women are more predisposed to it than others. The amount of cellulite you have and how noticeable it is can be based on your genes, body fat percentage, and age. The thickness of your skin also affects the appearance of cellulite.”
Cellulite is just normal fat. It looks lumpy because it presses against connective tissue, resulting in the skin above it to pucker.
Whether you’re heavy or thin, you can get cellulite. Muscle tone can affect it, and very fit people sometimes have it. Hormonal factors and genetics both play a role. It might also be related to the thickness of your skin. Women are more likely to get it than men. It tends to form more as you get older.
Lifestyle factors may play a role. For example, cellulite may be related to:
- Unhealthy diet
- Fad dieting
- Slow metabolism
- Lack of physical activity
- Total body fat (But at least one study showed that losing weight doesn’t change cellulite.)
So, why is your cellulite getting worse with exercise?
As we talked about before, there are several factors that impact why some people have cellulite and others don’t.
Genetics certainly plays a role. However, there is not much you can do about this so let’s focus our energy on the causes of cellulite which you can do something about.
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Poor Diet. You’ve probably heard the expression, “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” Yes, great bodies are made in the kitchen. This is especially true if you are no longer a teenager with a raging metabolism.
Regardless of how intense you work out, it is extremely easy to overeat and thus, eat more calories than you burn. Even marathon runners, who you would think could eat anything they wanted due to the nature of their activity, still have to carefully monitor what they eat to avoid excess weight gain.
Exercise fires up your metabolism, as well as your post-workout appetite. Not only do athletic people still have to watch how much they eat, but also the quality of the food they consume.
Too much sugar. From Lipotherapeia, …“sugar is the number one cause of cellulite today and the increase of the appearance of cellulite in women in the mid-twentieth century has coincided with the increase in the consumption of various types of sugars, including sucrose (plain sugar), fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), etc.”
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Doing the wrong type of exercise. There’s no way to prevent cellulite, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and it’s actually a very common condition. The risk increases with age and certain lifestyle factors.
While you can’t control your age, you can make some changes to your lifestyle that may help reduce the amount of cellulite on your thighs and buttocks, as well as other parts of your body. These changes can include things like starting a regular exercise program and a nutritious diet.
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When it comes to exercise, the most efficient or quickest way to reduce the appearance of cellulite is through strength training.
The use of free weights is a great way to build muscle strength and tighten the skin up around the thigh and buttocks areas. Free weights are easy to use and quite inexpensive for those who like to work out at home.
Other products that can reduce the appearance of cellulite
Self-tanning lotions. Tanning gives you a darker hue, which reduces the appearance of cellulite. The reason for this phenomenon is darker skin conceals the skin’s texture more than lighter complexions.
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Here are some of our favorite self-tanning lotions:
- SELF TANNER BODY LOTION - Create a flawless light bronze tan with gradual, natural-looking color while nourishing and hydrating dry and extra dry skin.
- GRADUAL SUNLESS TANNING - Our Jergens Natural Glow & FIRMING moisturizer will gradually enhance and deepen your natural skin tone to provide hassle-free, streak-free color. Cruelty free
- CELLULITE REMOVER - Infused with collagen, elastin, and green tea infusions, our fast-acting, anti cellulite formula will help reduce cellulite appearance within 7 days.
- b.tan | i’ll make you b.tan forever + ever (well up to 11 days anyways). i am created for eternity, your pale past is soon a thing of the past. fear no more.
- b. tan longer | too much going on in your weekly beauty routine? look no further. scrap your weekly tanning routine and b.tanned longer than ever before.
- b.prepped | ultra long lasting tan? can't have it blotchy, prepping the skin is essential. exfoliate the skin properly, apply moisturizer to your elbows/wrists/hands/knees and feet, apply with mitt in circular motions, and then let tan develop
- SUN-KISSED SKIN, NOT ORANGE: Picking the right color fake tan will ensure no orange color on your skin. For fair or pale skin, use fair to medium. For olive skin or skin that tans easily, use medium to dark. You will be left with a natural glow.
- CLEAN INGREDIENTS, NO JUNK: Beauty by Earth has been in the Self Tanners Best Sellers category for years. It's formulated with organic aloe vera, shea butter & many botanical extracts that benefit and hydrate your skin without dyes or toxins.
- BODY LOTION, CAN BE USED ON FACE: This sunless tanning lotion was formulated for the body, however it can be used as a face tanner. If you are prone to breakouts, use the Face Self Tanner Lotion as it is specifically formulated for your face.
Cellulite creams. There are many anti-cellulite creams on the market, which reduce the appearance of cellulite by firming the skin as well as moisturizing it.
Here are some of our favorite anti-cellulite creams:
- 【EFFICACY】Anti Cellulite and Firming Cream for men and women, improves the skin anywhere on the body, including better body circulation, better metabolism, strengthening of the skin, firming of the skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite, helping to firm and tone the skin, reducing stretch marks, relieving pain and more.
- 【NATURAL DETOX EFFECT】 Fast Absorbing And Safe For All Skin Types. With a pronounced warming effect, due to the actives stimulating blood circulation, to reduce the appearance of cellulite, reduce fluid retention and improve skin elasticity. So smooth, tone firm and reduce the appearance of cellulite on your thighs, stomach, buttocks and legs.
- 【USE METHOD】It can be applied to any area with cellulite: hips, bottom, thighs and legs. Simply apply a layer of anti-cellulite cream before training, sports, yoga, jogging, etc. Train normally, but lose more fat. Use twice a day with regular exercise and a healthy diet to see optimal long-term results.
- GET HEALTHY SLIM - Enjoy perfectly smooth skin and vital shapes with VIOFAIRY Naturals Anti-Cellulite cream! Made with unique slimming formula, this product works like skin tightening cream quickly firming body in problem areas. Get the shape of your dream with ease and restore your confidence!
- BEAUTIFUL FORMS WITH LESS EFFORTS -Supports and promotes motivation and sweat. Make every visit to gym worth it! VIOFAIRY Naturals ultimate formula eliminates cellulite completely by breaking down fat cells in hips, thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. Kick early and stubborn cellulite.
- Caffeine Cellulite Cream - VIOFAIRY hot cream is developed to firm and improve the overall quality of problem skin areas, contributing to the disappearance of visible signs of cellulite. Our skin tightening cream with caffeine stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, smoothing skin.
- 【Pure Natural】 -- Pure body naturals anti-cellulite hot cream without any preservatives, natural formula helps in burning fats and accelerates the metabolism and slimming process, suitable for all kinds of skin.
- 【Shape Perfect Body】 -- It has great effect in slimming waist, legs, arms and firming abdomen, refreshing lotion texture, clear and radiant, easy to absorb. Moisturizing and nourishing skin to make it smooth and tender, helps to shape nice and attractive body.
- 【Anti-Cellulite Treatment】 -- Visibly reduces cellulite, stimulates faster burning of subcutaneous fat tissue, eliminates persistent cellulite burn away unwanted fat cells and works to prevent future fat accumulation and cellulite reoccurrence.
Anti-cellulite massagers. These massagers work by naturally drawing the toxins from your deep tissue using utility and eliminating the fluid retention and creating the sculpting, contouring effect.
- Release Tensions & Muscle Pains - With the third upgraded powerful motor and 8 groups of massage rollers of total 80pcs wave heads can offer you powerful deep tissue massage of over 42900 times per minute, which can effectively promote your blood circulation and release the aching or tense muscles on your face, hand, arm, neck, foot, and body.
- Help Reduce Cellulite – You can use the cellulite massager roller after shower to help your cellulite cream or oil to penetrate deep into your skin, which help eliminate fat and exfoliate for smoother skin. Regular use can help remove cellulite tighten and tone your body.
- Facial & Body Cleansing – Come with 2 different types of face & body brush head, which can offer you effective and wonderful skin cleansing experience. This facial massager is IPX7 waterproof, so you can rest assured to use in shower.
- The anti-cellulite electric massager with 4 interchangeable heads provides 4 functions - 2 massage heads for cellulite,such as arms,abdomen,thighs, buttocks;Then use 1 head for deep muscle massage to make legs Drain the body,shape the figure,and use 1 head to remove dead skin.Too much pressure will stop the rotation,but will continue to vibrate.Therefore,you'd better not use too much force.Please note that one of the massage heads has been installed on the cellulite massager
- Full Body Massage Function - The back massager handheld can change the fat tissue,and can effectively eliminate excess fat after long-term use.At the same time,cellulite massager helps relax muscles and calm arthritis or osteoarthritis.The electric back massagers with weight loss function has the function of burning fat,and you can enjoy an amazing SPA experience and body shaper for women at home
- Stepless Switch - Deep tissue massager is professional body massager has stylish, lightweight design and rotational massaging action.Change different massage levels and perform subcutaneous massage to increase blood flow, which is beneficial to eliminate toxins and reduce fat accumulation. Allows you to freely adjust from a soft vibration mode to a powerful vibration mode, thereby bringing you a comfortable experience
- CUSTOMIZABLE: Variable massage intensity + 4 head attachments to emulate shiatsu, acupoint & scalp massage! With infrared function, you can reduce fatigue! Burn excess fat ~!
- Powerful Motor and Safety Design: Great motor with extremely powerful up to 2600 times per minute. After using 20 minutes, it will automatically stopped to prevent the massager from over heating.
- Portable and Flexibility: you can bring it to home, office and anywhere. 4 interchangeable head-attachments, depending on your preference.
Claudia Faucher is a full-time fitness training expert and lifestyle blogger. She is also been a certified Les Mills BodyPump instructor for the past 5 years and a fitness instructor for over 20 years. Claudia is a personal trainer and creates fitness training programs for seniors and people of all ages. She likes to use her skills and experiences to help others on their fitness journeys.
Last update on 2023-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API