How Does Exercise Help My Swelling?
Unlike the blood circulatory system which has the heart to pump blood around the body, the lymphatic system is a one-way drainage system and relies on other things to help it to drain, such as exercise. The superficial lymphatics are positioned just underneath the skin. When exercising or moving, the muscles contract and relax against the skin. This increases lymphatic activity thereby helping to reduce swelling. Wearing a compression garment or bandages during exercise and movement provides increased resistance for the muscles to work against and can therefore improve the results.
Are There Other Ways Exercise Can Help?
Exercise can do even more than just improve swelling. It helps maintain and optimize your joint flexibility and bone strength which becomes even more important as one ages. Exercise helps improve posture, balance and gait which are often severely affected if you have lymphedema on one side of the body. It can help with other conditions or disorders too. For example, it may improve your blood pressure as well as your blood sugar and fat levels. Exercise can improve your emotional well-being making you feel happier because during exercise more endorphins are released. These are the body’s "feel-good" chemicals and the body's natural painkiller.
Exercise and generally being more active help maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of developing lymphedema and makes it more difficult to treat the lymphedema. So, keeping weight within normal limits helps to ensure successful lymphedema management.
Now that we have a better understanding of how movement and exercise can help manage lymphedema, what type of exercise or movement should we be doing? Look out for the next BLOG on this topic!
In the meantime, visit exercise and movement for more information.
Or listen to Deborah Cordner Carson’s story about how she overcame the odds to become a top CrossFit athlete with Lymphedema.
You also might like
Nutrition Guide: Eating and Living Healthy
A balanced nutrition is the cornerstone of good health – and eating healthy is easier when you follow some basic nutrition guidelines.
Working With Lymphedema: How To Make Your Job Lymphedema-friendly
It’s bound to happen: Your lymphedema and your work life are going to come into conflict at some point. Whether we like it or not, we can’t just leave our lymphedema at home while we go off to work. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for this and to know ways to manage lymphedema while at work. We’ve put together some tips to help you navigate both your career and your condition, no matter if you’re returning to work after receiving intensive lymphedema treatment, starting a new job, or just looking for more ideas to help manage your condition every day.
Could I Have Lipedema?
Lipedema is a medical, long-term, chronic condition that is the accumulation of abnormal fat (adipose tissue) and is unrelated to diet. It particularly affects the lower limbs; however, it can also impact the arms. It appears to affect women only and there currently is not a cure.
Choose the Support You Need
Discover Our Services and Get the Help You Need
Don’t sit around and go through this in silence. Share your story. Doing that was a real eye-opener for me
Claudia Lymphedema patient