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Strategies that Fight Cellulite

Getting Rid of Cellulite: What Really Works?
  -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
Although working out and eating right help you feel good and improve your health, there's no doubt that most of us also do so to improve our appearance. And with shorts and swimsuit season quickly approaching, cellulite might be on the minds of many, particularly women—80% of whom report having at least a little cellulite.

With so many products on the market promising to drastically reduce the appearance of cellulite or remove it altogether, it's tempting to pick up a bottle and just hope that it takes away that uneven and dimpled surface of the skin. But, wait! Before investing your hard-earned cash in some overnight solution that sounds too good to be true, do a little homework first—and find out what really works when it comes to preventing and reducing the appearance of cellulite.

What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is formed by fibrous connective cords that connect your skin to your underlying muscle. In between these cords are your fat cells, and as your fat cells accumulate, they push up against your skin, while at the same time, the connective cords pull down. This pulling and pushing under your skin creates an uneven surface or dimpling that has the texture of cottage cheese or an orange peel. Because cellulite is more concentrated in areas that have a higher fat content, most women have some degree of cellulite on their thighs, hips and rear, but it can also be found on the breasts, lower abdomen and upper arms.

Why Some Have More Cellulite Than Others
Many factors play a role in cellulite, including your sex. Although men can and do have cellulite, it's more common in women due to their genetic make-up and higher levels of body fat (compared with men). Age, weight and lifestyle also play a role. As you age and your skin becomes looser, you may notice more cellulite on your body—even if your weight or body fat percentage remains unchanged. Weight gain can also make cellulite more noticeable, as can being inactive, enduring high levels of stress and, according to the Mayo Clinic, using hormonal contraceptives.

However—and here's the kicker—lean individuals can still have cellulite. Much of cellulite is actually genetic, so if it tends to run in your family, you may be more likely to have it regardless.

Natural Ways to Treat Cellulite
So you have some cellulite. Is there anything you can do about it? The following healthy lifestyle habits have been shown to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

The Skinny on Cellulite Reduction Products and Treatments
With so many cellulite treatments promising dramatic results, do any live up to their claims? Some cellulite treatments have been shown to diminish the appearance of cellulite, but there really is no product that can permanently remove cellulite. For many of these treatments, the effects will only last as long as you are using the product (if they last at all). Here's the skinny on the most popular treatment options.

The best way to really fight cellulite? Stop fighting it altogether and learn to love your body as it is! Cellulite isn't a health problem—only an aesthetic issue. Celebrate your body for everything it does for you—and remember, almost everyone has cellulite somewhere.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Nicole Nichols, certified personal trainer.

Sources
Mayo Clinic. "Cellulite," Accessed April 2011. www.MayoClinic.com

The World's Healthiest Foods. "Can you tell me which foods promote collagen?," Accessed April 2011. www.WHFoods.com

eHow Style. "How to Reduce Cellulite," Accessed April 2011. www.eHow.com

WebMD. "Cellulite Causes and Treatments," Accessed April 2011. www.WebMD.com