Boost confidence by toning up loose skin.

The appearance of loose skin when you are on a weight-loss journey can be disheartening. Although exercise alone won’t return your skin back to its former shape, there are some things that you can do to improve the way it looks.

The skin is an amazing organ of the body. Its ability to stretch and shrink to accommodate our ever-changing physique is incredible. However, some people can get disheartened and become unmotivated when they find that their exercise routine seems to be making their body appear to be loose and saggy, instead of buff and toned. Unfortunately, sometimes, loose skin, especially after drastic weight loss, can’t be improved because it has been stretched out for such a long time. For many people, however, there are several ways they can improve this problem and boost their confidence in the process.

Here are some tips to help you start toning up:

Avoid drastic weight loss: When you lose weight incredibly fast, you do not give your skin a chance to adapt. The best approach with weight loss is to take it slowly to avoid instantly sagging skin. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is a sustainable and safe amount.
• Beef up your strength-training program: One of the best ways to improve the appearance of your skin is to build muscle. As you lose body fat, your skin can appear loose because there is less volume filling up the space beneath it. If you build muscle, your skin will appear to be much more toned.
Avoid grueling cardio training without proper nutrition: Overtraining with cardio can cause the loss of not only fat, but also muscle. Muscle loss, in combination with fat loss, can make the skin loose. If you are doing extensive cardio training, you must provide your body with proper nutrition. This will help your body recover and reduce the chance that you will be losing precious muscle mass.
Stay hydrated: Hydration is important for your skin. It is the first thing that suffers when you are not drinking enough fluid because the body draws fluid away from the surface of the skin and redirects it to more essential organs. Dehydration makes the skin appear more wrinkled and this can make loose skin look worse than it actually is. When you are well hydrated, the skin benefits greatly and the cells appear to be more plump. If you are exercising regularly, or living in a warm climate, taking extra care of your body’s hydration needs is essential.
Massage and moisturize your body often: Treating your skin to some good moisturizer and massaging your body each day when you get out of the shower encourages improved circulation. This can help your skin to look and feel great.
Do not get discouraged: Loose skin is a small price to pay for being healthy and in shape. When you give your body ample time to adapt and stay focused with living a healthy, active lifestyle, the problem of loose skin can seem less important over time. When you feel upset about your skin, try to focus on the positive ways in which living a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly is impacting your life.

I experienced drastic weight gain during pregnancy when I was pregnant with triplets. It took a long time for my skin to recover after pregnancy. It’s still not perfect, but my positive approach is to connect with women who have had a similar experience. I know you will understand when I say that finding ways to avoid bending when in a swimsuit, or sitting on a sun lounger in just the right position to avoid the wrinkles, takes practice. Feeling good and being healthy is what truly matters most. When you focus on the positives, the negatives seem less of a problem.

Written by Samantha Clayton. AFAA, ISSA – Senior Director, Worldwide Fitness Education at Herbalife.