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Too many of us are overweight, and in being so we do ourselves a disservice. Whether its thighs, waist or arms, most of us have one area of our body that we wish was firmer and more toned. However, that excess fat on your bottom that you’d like to reduce is an indication of an excessive fat accumulation on your entire body. Spot reduction is impossible, so in order to achieve a pert derriere you need to start by reducing your whole-body fat, which in turn will reduce fat in your problem area. Not only will losing fat improve your appearance, but you will more importantly be improving your general health, since excess fat increases the risk of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Men and women are programmed to store fat in different ways. Way back in time man, traditionally the hunter-gatherer, needed strong muscles, great strength and speed, and used his fitness to provide for the family. However, back home his women were bearing and rearing his many children, and with female hormones playing a part, it resulted in fat being constantly stored in areas such as their hips, bottom and legs. And today, maybe as a legacy from those days, many women are still prone to storing fat in these areas.

To lose weight and stay in shape is common sense. Shedding weight improves general health plus mobility, and at the same time increases self-esteem. With a healthy body invariably go a healthy mind and the ability to make the most of life. And a slimmer woman often looks and feels younger than her overweight friend.

You can make a start in controlling and reducing your weight by eating a reduced calorie diet. Eat smaller portions and limit the food you consume that is high in sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and also Trans and saturated fats, which are found in high-fat dairy produce, fatty meats and fried foods. Instead, eat lean protein, fat-free or non-fat dairy produce, plus whole grains, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Overeating clogs up the system causing bodily malfunctions. The joints become stiff, and the neglected, and an overweight body functions inefficiently, placing extra strain on the heart and lungs, which in turn causes breathlessness. The digestive system is affected, resulting in intestinal problems such as constipation.

Often in my post-bag there’s a letter from someone seeking advice on how to deal with the ugly, dimpled skin she finds persists on her bottom. In the 1920’s French beauticians gave this unsightly accumulation of fat-puckered skin a label…cellulite. This condition has to do with a woman’s hormonal makeup, and is thought to be caused by retention of excess fluids and fats. It’s not unhealthy as such, but isn’t attractive and poor diet and lack of exercise can exacerbate cellulite. So help yourself, get up off that bottom, be more active and shape up your rear!

OK, it’s action time, so let’s make a start by shaping up your seat. You’ll need an upright chair for support.
Warning: Take care attempting these exercises if you suffer from back problems.

Ex 1 Ballet
To work legs and bottom (gluteals): stand sideways to an upright chair, hold on with left hand for support, and stretch out your right arm like a ballet dancer. Point toes and swing your right leg forwards and backwards, working the muscles of thigh, hip and bottom. Continue ten times. Turn around hold the chair with your right hand, swing your left leg forward and back as high as possible ten times.

Ex 2 Bob and lift
To work bottom muscles: stand and hold on to chair with right hand for support. Bend your right knee and at the same time lift your left foot up off the floor. Now straighten up your right knee and at the same time straighten and kick your left leg up and out behind you. Hold position for five second, feel your bottom muscles working! Continue bobbing and lifting five times. Repeat five times on the other leg.
Now lets get down to floor exercises for your bottom.

Ex 3 Bottoms up
To work your, thighs and bottom: lie back on the floor, arms at your sides, knees bent, shoulder width apart. Clench your buttocks, pull in your tummy, tilt your pelvis forwards and lift your bottom off the ground, transferring your weight on to shoulders. Hold for five seconds. Relax down and repeat five times.

Ex 4 Side rolls
To tone bottom and thighs: sit up with back straight and stretch arms and legs out in front. Cross right leg over left at ankles. Clench bottom muscles and simply roll your body from side to side, 10 times. Change legs and continue rocking and rolling 10 times.

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