Sick of being skinny-fat?

Don’t worry, no amount of treadmill walking will make this condition worse. However, there IS something that WILL make it worse.

And that’s the avoidance of strength training, a.k.a. lifting weights. And I don’t mean with dumbbells light enough for 20 repetitions, either.

If you want to change your body composition, you must lift weights. Nevertheless, if you like walking on a treadmill, you can continue doing that without fear that this is going to make you even more skinny fat.

The woman in the image above is skinny fat. What “skinny fat” means is that a person is thin or even somewhere between medium and slender, but has a higher body fat percentage than what their size suggests, and in fact, may have a body fat percentage in an unhealthy range.

A skinny fat person appears soft despite being thin or medium-slender; they are not toned and do not have muscle definition.

Their belly may have a puffy or doughy appearance. A person does not become skinny fat by walking on a treadmill, even if it’s for two hours a day, even though many skinny fat people do prefer to use a treadmill for their aerobic activity.

If you want to improve your cardiovascular function, do not hold onto the machine. By not holding on, your body is forced into good posture.

Holding on discourages good posture; why have good posture when you can just hold onto something for support?

The spinal column becomes lazy and you start hunching, or your butt sticks out as you lean forward. Your cardiovascular system works less.

To lose the skinny fat body composition, train with weights.

You must build muscle. The woman below with the barbell fits into the same dress and pants as the woman at the top of this article, but the difference in body composition is striking.

Shutterstock/Vadym Wedmov

Before you think, “Gee, BOTH women are TOO thin,” my point is to compare two women of the same clothing size, where one is clearly frail looking and one is clearly toned and more fit looking.

Both women need more muscle mass, especially the first one!

But the second one is not skinny fat; she is skinny toned.

That all said, continue enjoying your walking on a treadmill, and don’t hold on!

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.