Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Is it OK to exercise with lymphedema?

Yes, exercise is safe and beneficial for individuals with lymphedema, as long as a few standard guidelines are followed.

  1. Always wear your compression bandages or garments when exercising – Compression garments help to move your lymph fluid from your limbs, trunk or face.  Without the garments, lymph fluid will collect in the affected area and increase swelling.
  2. Get clearance from your doctor – As always, it’s a good idea to discuss your exercise goals with your physician and to make sure that you are in good overall health before starting an exercise program.
  3. Start slowly – Your exercise program should include stretching, strengthening and endurance.  Some good examples of exercise programs are: Yoga, walking, swimming or cycling.  It is NOT advised to engage in high-speed activities like tennis, water skiing or football.
  4. Hydrate – Hydration is super important to maintaining a healthy body, and even more important for people with lymphedema, as it aids in your body’s ability to expel lymph fluid.
  5. Pay attention to your body – It is important that you feel good after exercising!  If you notice increased swelling, then you will want to choose a different activity for that day (i.e. swim instead of walk).

We want to assist you in reaching your exercise goals.  With our dedicated staff on your team, we can ensure that your custom compression garments will support you in your exercise program.

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment options.  Our certified lymphedema specialists will be happy to answer your questions about how we can help you or someone you know who have lymphedema.  Call today at 713-623-4247, or email us at Kristen@hairandwellness.com

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