Exercise is one of the most important activities for improving and maintaining our health, especially as we age. A lack of exercise can be attributed to many health issues, including weight gain, heart disease and many more problems. Of course, starting and keeping up with an exercise regimen can be difficult, especially if you’re not starting from a healthy position to begin.
If you’re suffering from Lipedema or lymphedema, exercise is one of the most important aspects of treatment. There are treatment options to help manage and reverse these disorders, but they are all used to support an exercise regime. Exercise is therapeutic for many reasons for individuals with lipedema. It promotes lymphatic circulation by the rhythmic contractions of the muscle stimulate lymph flow. Exercise helps maintain muscle mass and mobility. Loss of muscle mass and mobility issues are common problems for ladies with lipedema. There’s no miracle cure; you have to want it, and you have to work at it. Fortunately, there are many good exercises to perform at any level of fitness and even modest exercise can have significant benefits.
Types of Exercise
The best types of exercise to help treat lipedema and lymphedema are low impact exercises that aren’t too strenuous, as strain can increase fatigue, as well as pain levels. Low impact exercise help protect joints. Workouts should also focus on exercises that do not increase lactic acid buildup or primarily aerobic, and should be longer sessions. A few good types of exercise include:
- Swimming / water exercises
- Walking (supportive footwear)
- Stationary Bike
The types of exercise used should be focused to the individual patient’s needs and ability. Additionally, it is important to use compression garments when exercising whenever possible. Compression garments help to promote blood circulation and lymph fluid flow, which can be severely inhibited in patients who suffer from fat disorders and lymphedema.
Benefits of Exercise
Besides the other health benefits associated with exercise, there are specific benefits for patients with lymphedema and fat disorders such as lipedema. Exercising can help to activate the lymphatic drainage system in a patient’s limbs through the foot and calf muscle pump. Workouts that aren’t too strenuous help to move the excess fluids out of affected limbs, as well as reducing additional fat buildup.
The lymphatic system differs from the blood circulatory system in that it does not have a “pump” to move the lymphatic fluids back to the blood stream. Because of this, good lymph flow depends on proper joint and muscle activity. This is especially true if the lymphatic system is compromised. Individuals suffering from lipedema can receive great benefit when engaging in diaphragmatic breathing exercises. These exercises are especially beneficial when they are combined together with other parts of a decongestive regimen.
Because fat disorders and lymphedema can often feed into one another, exercise is a great option to help combat both. With its dual purpose of clearing out excess lymph fluid and burning fat, exercise offers exactly what patients need to deal with these disorders.
Easy Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing is easily done, and you will probably find that they will provide an overall sense of relaxation. Lie on your back on a flat surface, with your head supported upward and your knees bent. If you like, you can place a pillow under your legs for additional support. Place a hand on your upper chest and the other on your abdomen; this will let you feel your diaphragm moving as you breathe.
Inhale slowly through your nose so that you can feel your stomach rising out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible. Tighten your stomach muscles. As you exhale, let the stomach muscles go inward. Again, the hand that is on your chest should remain as still as possible. To accentuate the exhaling, you may let the exhaled air flow through pursed lips.
You should initially practice these abdominal breathing exercises for about five to 10 minutes, three to four times a day. If no discomfort or dizziness is experienced, you can then increase the amount of time you perform these exercises.
Deep breathing exercises are just one part of a full range of therapies that can help reduce the symptoms of lipedema. Dr. Wright and his staff will guide you through the process of finding the best procedures and treatments for your individual case!
Contact Your Physician Today
Before starting an exercise program, it is always best to check with your doctor. They can help you make an exercise plan is safe and that will help you manage and treat your symptoms, as well as provide other treatment options such as decongestive therapy. Contact us today for more information about exercise therapy for lipedema treatment.
For more information on Lipedema please visit FatDisorders.org for some valuable information.