Tightening up those ‘saggy’ legs

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 31, 2008

By Ester Hoeben
For the Salisbury Post
Q. I have worked out hard and my body fat is 18 percent. I am very happy with my body except that I feel that my legs are just not as tight as I want them to be. Which exercises can I do to tighten them up?
A. I feel your pain! The older we get, the more our skin changes. Actually, I call it sag. When you pull your skin up, everything looks great! Or lying on your back with your legs up in the air works, too.
Out of personal experience, when I just gain a couple of pounds, I notice a change in my skin, especially on my legs. I try to watch what I eat and exercise regularly. I also notice that I have to do a strength workout to keep the legs ó and of course the rest of the body ónice and tight.
Your body fat is very good (a good range for women is between 15-25 percent and for men 10-15 percent).
You can try to go down a couple of more percentage points of body fat to help improve the legs.
But you also have to live ó you want to enjoy life.
Some wise person once told me that if you don’t eat anything “bad” and only do everything you are “supposed” to do, then life sure seems longer.
Are you willing to give up treats to get to 15 percent?
The lowest I have ever been was 6 percent body fat. For a guy that is very low but for a female, its super low.
It was in 1990 at the AAU Ms. America contest in Chicago. I got fourth place. My upper body was ripped, my legs were cut and my butt was still round!
You have to take heritage into consideration. If you do not lift weights, definitely start a weight lifting program today!
If you do better in a class setting, Bodypump, Powerpump or Powerflex can do the trick.
In the weight room, leg press, squats, leg extension and lunges would be some great exercises you can do.
I found out today that there are these “wonder tights” called Spanx. It is a panty hose looking thing that makes your skin look awesome in clothes! (No ripples, dimples, or sag!)
They have them at our local boutique Bijoux , where I shopped recently, and other places around town, too.
The Bijoux did stroke my ego by mentioning that I don’t need Spanx! I don’t know about that.
All I do know is that your skin changes when you get older.
You have to work a lot harder to look good and eat a whole lot less ó and better. There are special creams for your face, your body and those “winter” feet.
But you know what? I love life, I love my fiance, I love my children, I love God, my family, my soon-to-be in-laws. And of course I love the YMCA and what it stands for.
And “sag” is just part of growing old gracefully.
Ester Hoeben is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or ehoeben@rowan ymca.com.