Lipoedema and Exercise
Movement is key in managing lipoedema but for many of us the idea of exercise bring anxiety and perhaps even terrible memories of being humiliated in gym classes at school. Or perhaps memories of using exercise as a tool in weight loss for body weight we now know we won’t loose. Maybe thought of going to a gym is just a step to far.
We need to change the way we look at exercise but this can be easier said than done. Exercise doesn’t need to be punishing, super hard and intense to make a positive impact. Start small and do something that you enjoy. It is really difficult to change your mind-set when in comes to exercise but it is easier if you can find something that you enjoy. Take some time to think about what the benefits of movement or exercise would be for you, why you want to commit to exercise or movement and finally how ready you are to add exercise to your day.
So what exercise should you do with lipoedema? The best exercises for lipoedema are non weight bearing. Things like swimming, cycling, yoga and stretching. Yoga can be chair based if this suits you better. Walking and Nordic walking (where you walk with sticks for a full body work out) are great low impact options. Weight lifting is a great option if you can using weights , your own body weight or using resistance bands. Strength training is a great choice as it helps to build muscle which is key to helping carry us around. It is important whatever exercise you are doing you remember to wear your compression or in you are in earlier stages of lipoedema you can wear gym leggings with some compression support.
Something to consider which will not impact everyone is hypermobility. If you suffer from hypermobility, bear this in mind when exercising and take advice as needed so that you can get the best out of exercise and movement.
When you let go of the idea of instant results, worry and anxiety and even bad memories of gym classes of years gone by, you can create a new idea of exercise. One where exercise and movement support your body, and help your lymphatic system flow. You can use exercise and movement to become a great tool in managing lipoedema.