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Will Running Reduce Cellulite?

author image Craig Smith
Craig Smith covers weight loss and exercise programming for various online publications. He has been a personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise since 2001. Smith also holds a diploma in exercise physiology and kinesiology from the National Personal Training Institute.
Will Running Reduce Cellulite?
A fit woman jogging down the beach. Photo Credit: fatchoi/iStock/Getty Images

People who have cellulite on the thighs, hips and buttocks often experience embarrassment when it comes to wearing shorts or swimsuits. Women experience cellulite more often than men. While not a life-threatening condition, the appearance of cellulite can be reduced by running, in conjunction with proper nutrition and weight management.

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Cellulite stems from fibrous tissue that connects the skin to the muscle below the surface. As fat cells accrue from weight gain, they begin to push up against the skin, creating a dimpled appearance. Cellulite is usually identified as skin with a cottage-cheese or orange-peel look. Instances of this condition range from severe cases that cause skin to appear bumpy and uneven all the time, to mild cases that are only visible when the skin is pinched.

Running for Reduction

Weight loss is a beneficial cellulite treatment. Weight reduction and strengthening of muscular tissue in the legs, thighs and buttocks can improve the appearance of dimpled skin. Running is an efficient method of cardiovascular exercise that potentially burns up to 1,500 calories an hour, depending on your weight. It is important to note that weight loss will not completely remove cellulite, but a reduction is likely achieved with weight loss.


While there is no method to prevent cellulite accumulation, maintaining a healthy body weight, in addition to following a consistent strength training program, may aid in preserving skin tone and texture. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control state adults younger than 65 should be moderately active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, while also following a strength-training regimen that includes repetitions of eight to 10 exercises twice weekly.

Find a Partner

Having a workout partner who shares your fitness goals can increase chances of success. If finding a workout partner is not possible, consider joining a weight-loss or exercise support group. Having someone to discuss common difficulties and experiences can make your road to weight loss a more enjoyable one.

Consult a Doctor Before Exercise

Beginning exercisers and people with existing medical conditions should discuss the risks and benefits of a sound fitness and nutrition plan with an expert before starting a new routine. If any medical concerns arise during a workout plan, you should consult a medical professional.

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