Water Exercise Treatment of Lipedema

The benefits of exercise are many: better stamina, lower risk of heart disease, lower fat levels and increased muscle mass. Unfortunately, for people suffering from fat disorders such as lipedema, fat gain may not be entirely under their control. This disease causes a disproportionate level of fat in the limbs, most often in the legs. Patients suffering from lipedema can find many benefits from exercise however, as long as they perform the proper exercises.

High impact exercises, or activities that are too strenuous, may actually cause more harm than good for lipedema patients who are increased risk for joint problems. That’s why water exercising is highly recommended; exercising in water creates a low impact environment that helps individuals work out comfortably. Because water is much denser than air, it allows for a high level of energy expenditure without causing too much strain on the body. Also the water density provides a dynamic compression as you move through it. This dynamic compression on the limbs stimulates lymph circulation which makes water exercises particularly helpful for lipedema patients. Below is a list of water exercises you can perform, and the benefits that they provide.

Water Walking

Walking in a pool is one of the easiest exercises to perform, yet offers many benefits to those suffering from lipedema and lymphedema. In addition to the dynamic compression caused by the density of water, the water cools down a patient’s legs, stimulating blood and lymph fluid flow throughout. Water walking can help to strengthen the legs and improve their overall shape and tone as well. For a more advanced technique, the “Nordic walking” technique involves a full walking stride in the water, alternating arms and legs as if walking normally on land.

Traditional Swimming Strokes

Good for toning the whole body, front and backstroke swimming is a great exercise for lipedema patients. Increasing and or maintaining muscle mass are very important for lymph circulation and overall mobility. Make sure you utilize both your arms and legs when swimming. A great bonus of swimming is that you can feel improvement directly as you start swimming faster and are able to complete more laps. Patients with lipedema in the legs should avoid the breast stroke, as it can strain the knees and cause additional pain with its kicking motion.

Water Aerobics

Just like on dry land, but in the water! Aerobics exercises in the water reduce strain on joints, increase resistance, and provide a fun environment to interact with others. The social environment will provide a boost to your drive to succeed, as well as help to take your mind off of the exercise itself.

Get Started with Water Exercises

The best part about water exercising is that everyone can benefit. Whether you suffer from lipedema or are completely healthy, exercise is always beneficial to our bodies. The low impact environment means you can feel safe and secure while working to improve yourself; try it out today!

For more information on Lipedema please visit FatDisorders.org Lipedema Groups for some valuable information.

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Dr. Wright

Meet Dr. Thomas Wright, medical director of Laser Lipo and Vein Center. Dr. Wright is a board certified Phlebologist and cosmetic surgery specialist, with over 15 years of practicing experience. A graduate of the University of Missouri Columbia medical program, Dr. Wright was one of the first two hundred surgeons to become a diplomate in Phlebology.

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