Skip to Content

Will walking everyday help with cellulite?

What is cellulite?

Cellulite is the dimpled, lumpy skin that often appears on the thighs, buttocks, and stomach. It’s extremely common, affecting up to 90% of women at some point in their lives. Cellulite forms when fat pushes up against the connective tissue under your skin. This gives the surface of your skin a bumpy, cottage cheese-like appearance. Many factors can contribute to cellulite, including genetics, hormones, diet, lifestyle factors, and thinning skin. While cellulite is normal and harmless, many people seek ways to reduce its appearance for cosmetic reasons.

Can walking help reduce cellulite?

Walking is often recommended as a way to help minimize the appearance of cellulite. Here’s why:

It burns calories and fat: To see any improvement in cellulite, you need to reduce the underlying fat. Walking is an effective cardio exercise that can help burn calories and body fat when done consistently. Losing excess fat can make cellulite less noticeable.

It tones muscles: Having strong, toned muscles in your thighs, butt, and legs can help smooth the appearance of cellulite. The repetitive motion of walking works and tones the muscles in your lower body. Building muscle may help diminish the cottage cheese look of cellulite.

It improves circulation: Poor circulation can make cellulite more visible. The massaging motion of walking helps push blood through your circulatory system and improve circulation. Better blood flow may help reduce toxins and smooth the skin over areas of fat.

It tightens skin: Over time, walking can stimulate collagen production. This may help tighten and firm up loose, sagging skin that worsens the look of cellulite. The ideal pace is a brisk walk that gets your heart pumping.

So in theory, a regular walking regimen that builds muscle, burns fat, and improves circulation and skin tone should help smooth out the appearance of cellulite over time. But there’s debate over how much it truly helps.

Does the research support it?

There is limited quality research on whether walking alone effectively reduces the appearance of cellulite. But a few small studies have found some benefits:

– A 6-week study had 10 overweight women walk briskly 5 days per week. At the end, they had significant reductions in total body fat and lower body fat along with improvements in thigh appearance related to cellulite.

– Another 8-week study in 60 women found that those who walked or jogged 3-5 times per week saw greater smoothing of skin surface appearance compared to non-exercisers. However, there were no significant differences in cellulite grades.

– A 3-month experiment had women walk 45 minutes 5 days per week. They experienced decreases in hip circumference but not any measurable reduction in the severity of cellulite.

Overall, while this preliminary research shows walking can improve some metrics related to cellulite, like burning fat and tightening skin, it’s not clear if it directly impacts the dimpled, lumpy appearance of cellulite. More high-quality studies are needed to determine how effective walking alone is for treating cellulite.

How to maximize potential cellulite-fighting benefits from walking

If you want to give walking a try to help minimize stubborn cellulite, here are some tips:

Walk at least 30 minutes 5 days per week – Walking fewer than 150 minutes per week is unlikely to have any impact on cellulite.

Maintain a brisk pace – Aim for 3-4 mph to get your heart pumping and juices flowing. This engages your muscles and gets blood circulating.

Walk on various terrains – Switch up walking on flats, hills, and inclines to tone your legs from all angles.

Walk outside – The uneven surfaces outdoors provide more toning benefits than indoor treadmill walking.

Wear compression tights – Compression clothing may help smooth cellulite appearance during and after walking.

Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water before, during, and after walking to flush out toxins and reduce fluid retention.

Consider dietary changes – Cutting back on salt, processed carbs, and inflammatory fats may enhance cellulite improvements from walking.

Add strength moves – Follow walks 2-3 times per week with squats, lunges, and band exercises to build firmer muscles.

Get a massage – Massage helps drain fluid and toxins trapped in cellulite. Try dry brushing or foam rolling too.

Be patient – It can take 2-3 months of consistent walking to start seeing smoother, tighter skin and cellulite reduction. Don’t give up!

Other proven ways to reduce cellulite

While walking may help a bit, to really tackle cellulite you’ll likely need a multipronged approach:

Lose excess fat

Losing weight through diet and cardio exercise remains the #1 way to improve the appearance of cellulite. Dropping excess body fat reduces the fat cells pushing up against the skin.

Build muscle with strength training

Doing moves like squats, fire hydrants, and glute bridges several times per week builds firmer muscles that smooth out dimples.

Change your diet

Cutting back on inflammatory foods, staying hydrated, and eating more antioxidants can help diminish cellulite.

Stay out of the sun

Too much sun exposure can damage your skin and make cellulite stand out more. Use sunscreen when outdoors.

Undergo laser treatment

Laser, radiofrequency, and acoustic wave therapy can reduce the appearance of cellulite with multiple treatments.

Try dry brushing

Brushing the skin with a stiff, dry brush may help break up fat deposits and improve circulation to reduce cellulite.

Wear compression clothing

Tight compression garments like leggings put pressure on the skin to help make it appear smoother temporarily.

Get a massage

Massage, like endermologie, uses rollers and suction to stimulate circulation and may reduce cellulite.

Use creams with caffeine or retinol

Topical creams may help tighten and smooth the skin when used diligently over time. Look for caffeine, retinol, or aminophylline.

Try radiofrequency treatment

Devices using radiofrequency waves and infrared light may reshape connective tissue and reduce cellulite. Multiple sessions are required.

Consider subcision

For severe cellulite, subcision is a medical procedure that cuts the fibrotic bands under the skin with a scalpel or needle.

The bottom line

Walking daily is unlikely to get rid of cellulite completely on its own. But it can help tone muscles, tighten skin, and burn excess fat when combined with strength training, a healthy diet, and other cellulite remedies. Aim for 30-45 minutes of moderate walking at least 5 days per week to maximize the benefits for your lower body and trouble spots.

To see substantial improvements in the appearance of cellulite, you will probably need to take a full, multipronged treatment approach that addresses the underlying causes. But walking remains a simple, accessible way to get started making those dimples less noticeable over time. The key is staying motivated enough to walk consistently and make it a regular lifelong habit.