Today, I thought I’d touch on something a lot of women have a real love/hate relationship with, and that’s cellulite.  I’m dispelling a few myths and getting to the very heart of the truth in this article, so keep reading if you find out everything there is to know about cellulite:

 

Cellulite is simply fat

Well, this is not entirely true.  Cellulite is mostly fat that has been damaged and is the result of poor drainage and circulation. Women’s fat cells are held in supporting fibres that are not as closely interconnected like men’s cells are.  An inactive lifestyle results in the fibres tightening their hold on the fat cells which then leads to that stubborn, orange peel-type look. So, being inactive certainly leads to cellulite.

 

Cellulite is hereditary

There does seem to be some truth in this statement, yes.  Just as some families are susceptible to certain diseases, the possibility of cellulite being present is also similar too.  But never fear: hormones, diet and lifestyle play an important role too, so if your mum and grandmother have or had cellulite, it doesn’t always mean to say that you can’t do something to influence not getting it.

 

Having cellulite means you are overweight

This is one of the most common myths and can be very frustrating for those people who are not overweight.  I read a statistic that said over 80% of women in the western world have cellulite to some degree and that also includes skinny people.  If you keep on top of your weight to avoid ‘yo-yoing’ where you weight goes up and down, which stretches the connective tissue in your skin can help not make cellulite worsen.

 

Cellulite gets worse as you get older

Unfortunately, for those of us not getting any younger, this is also a true statement.  Cellulite starts to form as soon as oestrogen levels increase at puberty, and it is a degenerative condition.  As the years pass, we tend to be less active, put on weight and the skin thins.  As a result, fat cells get bigger, supporting fibres stretch, circulation decreases, more fluid gets trapped and the puckering effect makes cellulite more obvious.  To stop unnecessary amounts of toxins building up in trapped fluid, cut down on the worst offenders: caffeine and alcohol.

 

water bottleDrinking water will improve cellulite

Again, not entirely true.  It won’t completely rid you of the condition.  Most of us are more dehydrated than we think and it’s the outer organ, the skin itself that goes without, as the water you do have is used by the vital internal organs first.  However, aim to drink 2 litres of water a day to maintain a healthy lymphatic system to remove waste products and keep water levels in your skin at an optimum level.

 

Exercise will smooth out cellulite

Yes, it will.  Bear in mind, even athletes can have cellulite and the fact that working out improves your blood flow, circulation, removes excess fluid and tones muscles, it also means that your skin will also appear smoother.  To stimulate your circulation and boost lymphatic drainage you need to work out aerobically, as well as for strength, so a mixture of cardiovascular, toning, Pilates, core and stretching-based exercise is best.

 

Want to learn more about postnatal exercise? Check out my Postnatal Pilates WorksheetsYour Pelvic Matters Exercise Class and Mummies and Buggies fitness classes.