Regular exercise, combined with a healthy diet, is a way to lose weight. If you were extremely overweight before exercise, you are likely to be left with some excess flab and loose skin. In most cases, toning exercises can be added to your routine to help tighten your flab. After sustained weight loss, you may still have loose skin. See your physician if you have excessive amounts of loose skin that doesn’t respond to toning exercises.
Toning exercises are used to help build and shape your muscles. As you lose weight through exercise, you burn calories and increase your metabolism. Fat is lost over time. However, muscles may have difficulty emerging in your new body, resulting in loose skin. Aerobic exercises such as running also offer some toning benefits. You will likely need to add strength training sessions to your exercise regimen to help maximize muscle toning.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends getting a minimum of 60 minutes worth of exercise per day. This can include your favorite aerobic workout as well as two to three strength training exercises per week. For optimum toning results, choose workouts that are challenging. Try new exercises, such as kickboxing or water sports, to help prevent boredom. The American Council on Exercise notes that you cannot spot train a particular area of the body. Muscles are toned over time through a combination of aerobic exercises and strength training.
Building muscle out of flab takes time, so start off slow. When you incorporate a new strength training exercise into your regimen, choose a weight that is heavy enough to challenge you but not so heavy that it strains your joints. Avoid working the same muscle groups on consecutive days to prevent injury. If your muscles feel strained, discontinue a particular workout until they have recovered. Warming up the muscles before and cooling off after a workout can help prevent injury and maximize the toning effects of exercise.
In some cases, toning exercises are not effective enough to decrease loose and hanging skin. The Cleveland Clinic reports that this is more common in people who have lost at least 100 pounds or more through an exercise and diet routine. Surgery to tuck in or remove loose skin may be considered as a last resort. This type of procedure is not recommended for people continuing to lose weight. Furthermore, risks associated with surgery include infection, scars and excessive bleeding. Ask your doctor about all of your options before considering surgery for loose skin after weight loss.