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The TRUTH About Cellulite

by Kathy Smith

Tabloids love to expose celebrities’ less-than-perfect derrieres or thighs because they, like a lot of people, have cellulite. Of course, no one wants to have cellulite, but chances are most of us do, at least to some degree.

Just because so many of us have cellulite doesn’t mean everyone knows what it is, much less why it occurs. But even more importantly, do you know what to do about it? It can be confusing because there are a lot of myths and misnomers out there.

Well, it’s time to know the truth about cellulite.


What Is Cellulite?

Screenshot 2015-02-19 12.28.46

First of all, it’s not a medical condition. Cellulite is nothing more than fat lying directly beneath the skin. What happens is there’s only so much room for these fat cells and they get pushed up toward the skin. This action puts pressure on the surrounding fascia.

Fascia is a web of connective tissue surrounding muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Think of it like the netting of a tennis racket with the strings representing the fascia. Over time, though, those strings or tissues lose their collagen and elasticity or too much fat develops and the fat gets pushed through the netting. That’s what gives a dimpled appearance, or what we call cellulite.

Cellulite doesn’t just appear. There are different grades or degrees:

• Grade 1: Detection at this stage is nearly impossible with the naked eye because it’s happening on a microscopic level.

• Grade 2: Some symptoms appear, such as a loss of elasticity in the skin and a cooler temperature to the touch.

• Grade 3: This is the look we most commonly associate with cellulite because there’s visible dimpling, but it has the other characteristics, too.


What Causes Cellulite?

There’s no one answer to this question, but here’s a list of contributors:

• Hormones:
The naturally occurring chemicals estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin have been linked to cellulite creation.

• Genetics:
Did your mother, aunts, grandmothers have cellulite? Then chances are you are predisposed to it, too.

• Lifestyle:
The more sedentary you are the greater the likelihood of developing cellulite. Also, smokers run a higher risk for cellulite.

• Diet:
Because cellulite involves fat cells, it only makes sense that what you eat would contribute to its buildup. Too much fat, carbohydrates, and salt, which leads to water retention, are the biggest culprits.


How Do I Banish Cellulite?

There’s an entire multimillion-dollar industry of creams, pills, and procedures claiming to remove cellulite; however, none of these has passed the scientific community’s standards. In fact, some are designed to treat unrelated conditions, like asthma, and others may cause serious side effects, like allergic reactions. Some methods, like massage, have temporary benefits, and others simply hide the cellulite, like compression garments. The keys words here are “temporary” and “hide.”

The good news is that there are three key ways to effectively minimize cellulite for the long-term:

1. Increase circulation

2. Maintain a healthy weight

3. Eat high-fiber and diuretic foods

• Increase circulation

Let’s face it, we just sit too much. In fact, sitting is the new smoking!

It’s not enough to work out for 30 to 60 minutes at a time, we need to keep blood flowing to the lower body throughout the day. If your job demands you sit at a desk, get up to walk around every 20 minutes to increase you circulation. Or, swap out your chair for a stability ball. Just sitting on the inflated ball requires you to engage your core, but with every slight movement, you have to shift to regain your balance. This constant balance challenge gets your body moving much more than sitting in a traditional office chair that does the balancing for you.

Kathy Smith Squat and Reach

Body-weight training keeps cellulite from settling in, too. Because it tends to form in the buttocks and thighs, I like the Pop Squat: Lower into squat position as if you’re sitting down in a chair, abs engaged and making sure your knees don’t pop out past your toes. Push yourself to standing, but don’t stop there: Without locking your knees, add a little jump into the air. When you land, lower yourself right back down into the squat. Grab weights for added difficulty. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Also, certain foods help boost blood flow. Circulation Journal reported that dark chocolate (yes, chocolate), which is full of natural flavonoids, improved blood circulation compared with white chocolate. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are known to increase circulation, too.

If you have time and money, get a massage to restore the fluid state of your connected tissue. In between massages, use a foam roller to help support the tissue on a daily basis.

• Maintain a healthy weight

The more weight you carry the more fat cells pushing through the fascia. Losing weight can result in a noticeable reduction of cellulite.

• Eat high-fiber and diuretic foods

salmon-salad

When the body holds onto extra fluids, it adds more pressure to the fascia. If I’m feeling bloated before a photo shoot, I eat something I know will help my body get rid of extra water—my favorite is egg whites and asparagus. Well, if you’re feeling like your cellulite is more noticeable or you’re getting ready to wear something that shows a little skin and you want to minimize dimpling, then fill your plate with foods high in fiber or natural diuretics.

Fiber-rich foods take longer to digest and will keep you feeling full longer so you’re less likely to reach for a sugary or fatty, salty snack. Diuretics help the body release excess water, usually through urination. Some foods serve double duty, both high in fiber and a diuretic, such as steel-cut oats and artichokes. Even flavor enhancers, like parsley, ginger and garlic, assist the body in getting rid of water. Finally, green tea, one of my all-time favorite beverages, can give relief from bloating.

On the other hand, not enough fluids or dehydration also contribute to cellulite.  Most studies show that about 2/3 of us are dehydrated and need to drink more water…so stay hydrated throughout the day! I aim to drink a gallon of water a day (yes…a gallon!). Although this may be a hefty goal for you, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. To achieve this goal, set an alarm on your phone every hour on the hour from 8 am to 5 pm. When the alarm goes off, it’s time to get up, get your blood circulating, and drink a glass of water.

Remember, while you may not erase cellulite completely, being active and eating healthfully is the best way to control it.

Kathy

By Collage Video | | fitness, goals, Healthy, practice, tips, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

Flatten Your Tummy in 5 Mins a Day

by Kathy Smith

Crunches, crunches, crunches!

What if everything you’ve ever learned about toning your tummy is wrong? 

Studies are continuing to show that the secret  to strengthening your core and tightening your tummy is about doing the right exercises…not spending doing traditional crunches.

In today’s blog, I've developed a science-based ab routine to help you create the abs you want in only 5 minutes a day! I’ll show you the exact exercises to lose fat and inches around your waistline, tone up your abs, and increase your confidence!

Here’s how to do it: Repeat each move for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.

 

cannonball

Cannonball

What it does:

  • This move is sometimes called the ˙banana,” because of the slightly-curved line your body forms at the start of the exercise. But no matter what you call it, this full-body core-strengthener is a surefire way to fire up the entire abdominal wall.

How to do it:

  • Start lying on your back, with your arms reaching out overhead, legs lifted slightly off the floor, and toes pointed. Even here, at the start of the move, you’re activating core muscles by stretching them out. Keep pressing the lower back into the mat or floor to ensure the back doesn’t arch. If this feels like too much tension on the back, try lifting the legs a little further away from the floor.
  • Imagine that, as you’re stretching the fingers and toes away from each other, the core is a strong magnet working to pull them back in. Using the force of that imaginary magnet, bring the knees in toward the chest. At the same time, reach your arms toward the legs.

Beginners:

  • Start by doing this move just one leg at a time. Resting your left leg on the floor, perform the move as described above using only the right leg. Do 10 repetitions and repeat on the left side.

Advanced:

  • At the top of the move, when you’re in ˙cannonball” position, wrap your arms around the shins. The objective is to find your balance point. To do that, you need to strongly engage your core muscles when you hit the top of the movement. Coordinating the arms and legs to hit that balance point is the challenge. 

 Ceiling Stap

ceiling-stamp

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lying on your back, squeeze your abdominals and lift your legs off the floor. Extend them up straight, feet facing the ceiling.
  • With your hands on the floor for balance, use your lower abdominal strength to push your feet up 1-2 inches toward the ceiling (meaning your hips come 1-2 inches further away from the floor simultaneously). It’s a quick movement, almost a ˙pulse,” as if you’re stamping the ceiling with the bottom of your feet (hence the title).

Forearm Plank With Swivel

Forearm-Plank-With-Swivel

  1. Start in plank position, but this time, rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Be sure to keep the shoulders depressed back and down and the neck nice and long throughout the movement.
  2. Keeping your abs engaged, slowly swivel the hips underneath you to the right. Feel your obliques driving this motion as you swivel to the other side with a slow, controlled motion.

Kathy

 

Rear Dip Lunge With Tricep Kickback

by Kathy Smith

How to do it:

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step your left foot directly behind you, taking a wide stance, and bend your legs, lowering your torso down into a lunge. Be sure and maintain that core stability to prevent injury.

While in lunge position, keep your shoulders over your hips, back knee slightly bent, front knee in alignment with your front toes, shoulders back and down.

Feel your weight in your right (front) heel as you push yourself to standing.

As you return to standing, do a tricep kickback: Reach your arms back behind you and extend, feeling a squeeze in the tricep.

Beginners:

Practice the lunge and tricep kickback movements separately and without weights at first.

Advanced:

When you come to standing, use your core muscles to lift the back leg off the floor and extend it behind you, squeezing the glutes as you perform the tricep kickback

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | fitness, goals, Healthy, Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more

4 Moves For A Total-Body Workout In Less Than 15 Minutes

by Kathy Smith

For flat abs, try:

crunch-on-ball

 

For strong arms, try:

tricep-extension

 

For a toned butt, try:

weighted-bridge

 

For increased flexibility, try:

 

 

 

downdog

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | Abs, exercise, fitness, goals, Kathy Smith, practice, tips, Weekly Blog, wellness | 0 comments | Read more

The #1 Overlooked Muscle To Help You Look Slim….Instantly!

by Kathy Smith

If there’s one area of the body most of us overlook, it’s the back. Naturally, we focus on toning the muscles we can see — our abs, legs, arms, chest, and shoulders. People don’t go around saying, “Hey! You’ve got a terrific back!” But in reality, no muscle group deserves more attention.

Think of your body as a house. Long before you start decorating, you’ve got to build a strong foundation; otherwise the structure will cave in. The foundation for your body’s strength comes from your abdominal and lower back muscles. If they’re weak, your body isn’t going to hold up. At that point, the decorating — sculpted arms and shoulders, for instance, won’t matter.

You’re especially prone to weakening your back muscles by spending a lot of time sitting at a desk or driving a car. In those poor-posture-prone positions, your back muscles tend to stretch out. If ignored, they’ll eventually lose strength. However, if you strengthen them, you’ll counter-act the tendency to slouch. You’ll stand tall, look slimmer, and project a confident image. Try out the superman exercise below to help strengthen your upper, middle, and lower back.

 Superman

superman

How to do it:

  • Lie face down on the floor. Keep the ribs and pubic bone on the floor, pulling your navel up off the floor.
  • Lift your chest off the floor slightly, keeping your core firmly engaged, and extend the left arm and right leg off the floor.
  • Return to the starting position, and switch sides.

Strengthening your back muscles in order to improve your posture will help you boost your confidence. Standing tall projects to the world that you feel good about yourself, and it will make you look 10 pounds thinner…not to mention a few years younger! As we age, we need to pay more attention to our posture. By making a conscious effort to stand up straight, you fight the effects of gravity on the body. You’ll look firmer, more toned, and younger.

Medically speaking, perfecting your posture makes sense. Years of slouching can weaken your bones and put a strain on your internal organs. But when the spine is properly aligned, you’ll find you’re breathing more deeply, sitting more comfortably, and walking with more vitality.

Here’s a head-to-toe demonstration of perfect posture:

posture

 Make it happen!
Kathy

Kathy

 

Four Tiny Game-Changers For Losing Weight

by Kathy Smith

1. Consider Your Past Habits
You’re sitting on the couch with your friends and family watching television when a bag of salted chips comes your way. You ask yourself, “Should I have one?” You know that each chip is only about 10 calories, and that isn’t much. This is when you need to recall previous times you were in the same situation. Did you eat just one? If you didn't — and you ate half a bag, which is 600 calories, then the best decision today is to pass the bag to someone else.

2. Detach Mood From Food
Sometimes when you've had a really bad/stressful/exhausting/boring day, you arrive home and all you want is to eat a pint of ice cream and a bag of barbecue potato chips. Sound familiar? Sometimes eating is not about hunger. Mood eating is one of the most overwhelming issues for any weight-conscious person. We often turn to comfort foods for reasons other than fuel, and distinguishing the physical need from the emotional need — especially in the heat of the moment — can be one of the hardest things to do. Boredom, loneliness, anger, sadness, anxiety, frustration, and fatigue are all controlling emotions. The key is to strike a balance between knowing what you eat and understanding how you feel.

3. Make Your Home A Healthy Environment
Your environment should support your healthy eating habits. Create a positive energy in your kitchen with how you stock and organize it, just as you create a certain energy in your home with your choice and placement of furniture. Start by doing an inventory of your kitchen, then discard items that don’t fit your healthy lifestyle and may sabotage your weight loss goals.

4. Shop Smart At The Grocery Store
Although your shopping habits may change, the store you shop at doesn’t need to change. Just remember my rule of thumb — stick to the perimeter! Most markets have a similar layout. Meats, produce, and dairy are found around the perimeter, with processed foods in the center (the most concentrated area of junk “goodies” and convenience foods full of unnecessary fats, sugars, carbs, and salt). When you stay on the perimeter, you stick “close to the earth,” buying foods closest to their natural state.

Make it happen!

Kathy

 

By Collage Video | | goals, Kathy Smith, tips, Weekly Blog | 0 comments | Read more
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