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How to develop strong health habits in the teen years

Chris Freytag

Fitness expert Chris Freytag

Almost all women have cellulite.  Concern over the condition brings countless women into diet centers, health clubs and beauty counters.  While most remedies have been proven ineffective, the changes that women make as a result of that concern can be positive; better eating practices and improved exercise habits.  But can a woman be too young to be concerned over the appearance of cellulite?  This question comes from a teenage reader who would like to reduce cellulite on her thighs. Ask the Trainer fitness expertChris Freytag responds with helpful diet and exercise advice and suggestions for developing a healthy body image at an early age.

Get Your Rear in Gear reader: Hello!  I am 13 years old I have a bit of cellulite on my thighs.  How can I get rid of it? I usually eat well and I like eating salad and some fruits, too.

Chris Freytag: Well, you are not alone…cellulite plagues 90% of all women at some point and sometimes it starts in our teenage years.  The quest to get rid of cellulite has become a billion-dollar business.  Most cellulite creams and pills have been proven ineffective and a waste of money.  Bottom line, cellulite is the product of body composition, genetics and hormones. Cellulite is basically pockets of fat which are trapped in the loosened fibers and cause dimpling in the skin. There are no miracle cures, but to reduce the appearance of the “cottage cheese” look, you need to tighten up the muscle fibers, maintain a healthy body weight, and eat a healthy diet.

Try these steps to reduce cellulite:

  • Get your cardio exercise – try for at least 3 times a week.   This will help improve circulation, burn calories and feel good!
  • Try a few strength exercises – do a few squats or climb some stairs to tone and tighten your leg muscles.
  • Join a new sport – something that allows you to run, jump, walk and have fun.
  • Stay hydrated and eat healthy.  Avoid preservatives, chemicals and processed foods.  Eat fresh fruits, veggies, and as much real food as you can.
  • Wear clothes that flatter your figure. Not necessarily the newest trend but find the styles that make you feel good.
  • Do some positive self talk everyday – remind yourself of your best qualities.

Remember – beauty is much deeper than cellulite.  Beauty is about who you are on the inside.  By keeping a positive mental attitude and body image and you will appear more attractive the world around you!

Get Your Rear in Gear: There are many reasons to develop good diet and exercise habits from an early age.  Improving one’s appearance is one of them.  But as we age, those health habits will also help us to prevent disease and enjoy fuller, healthier lives.  Check out the links below to learn more about developing a strong body image in the teen years, then check out some of the other links to learn more about developing exercise and nutritional habits for a healthy life.

Chris Freytag is a nationally known fitness expert on NBC-TV, the fitness expert for Prevention magazine, and author of 3 books. Chris holds a BA in Journalism and is a certified Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle and Weight Management consultant.  Visit her website for more information about her products or exercise DVDs.

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