Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Exercise and Fitness

How to firm that extra skin on your body

12/04/2006

Question:

HI I HAVE LOST 70 POUND AND I HAVE LOSS SKIN ON MY STOMACH AND UNDER ARMS AND INNERTHIGHS IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN FIRM MY SKIN WITH EXERCISE PLEASE ADVISE

Answer:

Loose skin after significant weight loss is not uncommon. A sound fitness program will be helpful to your overall health as well as your skin.

First, consider an aerobic exercise program that includes some type of activity that engages the large muscle groups of the body for a continuous length of time. Examples include; walking, bicycling, running, rowing, dancing, etc. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 20-60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3-5 days per week. Intensity should be considered. It is recommended that your exercise intensity range from 55/65 %-90% of your individual target heart rate. If you are new to exercise you may find it necessary to break up your exercise sessions into separate shorter bouts per day at a lower intensity level (40-60%). Over time increase your exercise frequency, duration, and intensity to attain the recommendations listed above.

Secondly, start a strength training program that exercises all of the major muscle groups. ACSM (2006) recommends strength training 3-5 days per week. The recommendation is; one to three sets of 3-20 repetitions of 8-10 exercises that focus on the major muscle groups. Major muscle groups include; legs, chest, back, shoulders, arms. Aerobic exercise and strength training will contribute to improving your body composition. Body composition consists of lean muscle mass and fat mass. The goal is to attain more lean muscle mass versus fat mass.

Flexibility training (stretching) is also encouraged. ACSM recommends a minimum of three to five days per week of stretching the major muscle groups. Stretch each muscle 2-4 times for 15-30 seconds.

Another important aspect to consider is obtaining a nutritious diet that fuels the body. Proper hydration is essential.

If you need instruction in strength training, cardiovascular activities, stretching exercises or calculating your target heart rate, consult your local YMCA, fitness center, or a personal trainer. A registered dietician can assist you in obtaining the proper nutrition that is right for you.

Before you start any exercise program, consult with your physician.

For more information:

Go to the Exercise and Fitness health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Patricia A Woellert, MSW, MEd Patricia A Woellert, MSW, MEd
Program Manager
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati