Total Lipedema Care

No Sweat! Seven, Simple Lipedema-
friendly Exercises that Won’t Hurt

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Disproportionate fat deposition, coupled with performing seemingly simple activities, such as walking and grocery shopping, usually deters those living with lipedema from starting – and sticking to – a regular exercise regimen.  However, we’ve compiled these low-impact and easy-to-do exercise basics that can be done almost anywhere and won’t leave you wincing in pain.  So, grab a pair of sneaks and/or a swimsuit, and let’s get moving.

Generally, the best exercises for lipedema patients are those that are low impact, encourage lymphatic flow, and are easy on joints that are already under a lot of added pressure. Stretching exercises are also great for fitness beginners as they get the blood flowing, the heart pumping, all while warming up those muscles.  Ideally, you want to stay clear of strenuous, high-impact moves that can exacerbate bruising, swelling, and joint inflammation, as well as increase lactic acid build-up.  Remember to always wear well-fitted compression garments and consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. Here are the top seven, simple exercises sure to keep you in the game.  

Arm and Leg Lifts
While lying down on your back, lift your arm, and opposite leg, holding at the top for 5 seconds.  Return to starting position and repeat for the alternating arm and leg.  Repeat 10 times on each side for a full set, working up to 20 times.  

Swimming/Water Workouts
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for ANY body, but especially for lipedema patients due to its gentle, extremely low impact movements that have major body benefits.  While being easy on the joints, water exercises tend to use all the body’s muscles in unison, making it a supercharged cardiovascular workout.  Water provides excellent resistance and acts as a natural compression to the lower body, increasing circulation and significantly reducing swelling.  Wave hello to these fun water workouts to help quell lipedema symptom woes:  water walking, water aerobics, and traditional swimming with emphasis on the back and breaststrokes.  

Walking
Good, old-fashioned walking is another easy, versatile, do-anywhere form of low-impact exercise that stimulates the heart and soothes the mind.  Plus, it’s a great way to decompress and catch up with friends and family after a long, busy day at the office/work, while also torching calories and staying fit.  Start slow and build endurance each week, along with distance.  Don’t forget to wear your compression gear and invest in a solid pair of comfortable sneakers that offer adequate support and shock absorbency. 

Cycling/Biking
Whether going for a spin around town or at a studio, cycling is a wonderful, low-impact way of burning calories, while slowing the progression of lipedema fat.  Not to mention, an invigorating sweat sesh does a body – and spirit – good!  If joints can withstand a little extra pressure, mix things up and keep it fun by alternating with the elliptical machine.  Just be sure to switch back to the bike if knees and/or ankles begin to ache.  Know your limits and don’t push yourself too hard.  

Yoga/Pilates
Often performed together due to the similarity of their movements, yoga and Pilates offer a bevy of breathtaking, body-boosting benefits, including: 

  • building core strength
  • reducing stress
  • alleviating anxiety/nixing nerves
  • creating good, posture and graceful everyday movements
  • encouraging body awareness
  • promoting flexibility

Yoga also focuses on deep, diaphragmatic breathing and may also help mitigate chronic back pain.  So, grab a mat and channel your inner yogi today.

Whole Body Vibration
WBV has been anecdotally shown to help those suffering from lipedema, lymphedema, and other lymphatic disorders and is a unique, innovative way to shake things up in the workout department.  Simply standing on a set of oscillating plates for 15 minutes a day, working up to 30 minutes, can:

  • reduce fat stores/promote weight loss
  • reduce joint inflammation
  • increase muscle strength and tone
  • boost blood flow and metabolism
  • improve flexibility

Source

Stretching
Basic stretching movements, such as toe touches, shoulder shrugs, neck rotations, and hip abductions not only prep and prime your muscles for the main event by boosting much-needed oxygenated blood flow to muscle fibers, they also ease joint pain and relax the body. Source Stretching should be an integral part of any fitness regimen, irrespective of level.  It’s also the perfect way to cool down your body’s engine while centering your mind post-workout.  

What are some of your favorite ways to stay fit, while navigating the lipedema lifestyle?  All of us could use a little fitness inspo, so be sure to share or show in the comments below.

To learn more, please contact our Beverly Hills, California office to schedule a consultation with any of our highly trained specialists

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