Here's my layman's explanation of cellulite: Take some pantyhose, and put a stick of butter in there. Now squeeze. This, sortakinda, is what cellulite is. It's just body fat that's escaped the connective tissue that generally holds it together, and it lies beneath the skin and blobs around there. And there it stays, like a nasty, annoying house guest who never plans to leave.
|Skin looking a bit like this these days?|
Cellulite comes from a number of sources. It definitely has a hereditary component (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Age has some say in it, as does total amount of body fat. But the fact of the matter is, you can have extremely low body fat and still have cellulite. It's just One Of Those Things.
There are a million creams, lotions, potions, and procedures out there that claim to target cellulite. The problem is, most of them don't work. A few people I know have reported some success with caffeine-type creams, but this is all hearsay. Studies (such as this one) confirm that most cellulite creams and massage treatments such as Endermologie are not effective in reducing cellulite. Liposuction is also generally a bad idea for this-- getting fat removed from an area close to the surface of the skin will simply result in pitting and bumpiness (and I don't recommend lipo for anything, anyway. Ick, yuck, ptooey).
So what about exercise? Well, diet and exercise will minimize the look of cellulite, mostly by building muscle and helping to smooth things out. But the unfortunate fact is, all you can really do for cellulite is minimize the look of it with healthy habits. If you have it, you'll probably continue to have it in some form no matter what you do. So keep on eating healthy, keep on exercising, and learn to love your body with all its imperfections. Life goes on, cellulite or not. Enjoy it.