Spring is a great time of year to jump start your wellness routine. As the weather warms, we’re able to enjoy more time outdoors. Spring 2020 feels a bit different as we adjust to the guidelines to help minimize exposure to COVID-19. However, it’s important to stay focused on your health and wellbeing during trying times like these. Lucky for us, we have a strong community to look to for inspiration and resources to help us stay active and positive.
Staying active is key to staying healthy when you have lymphedema. While everyone is encouraged to stay home and practice social distancing, there are still exercises you can do. Pattie Cornute put together several at-home workout ideas for her Lipedema Fitness blog. Here is a snippet:
“So how do we navigate this? How do we stay sane for the next 8 weeks, or longer? One of the best things we can do is stay active! At home workouts are the new black.
It doesn't have to be complicated, body weight movements are some of the best things you can do, and you don't need any equipment to do so.
Squats, Sit-ups, Push-ups, Pull-ups, etc. are all amazing at keeping our bodies strong. For the past seven years I have been doing the CrossFit warmup, which consists of 3 rounds of 10 each (pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, good mornings, overhead squats, and the Samson stretch). It is how I got started training again after my Lipedema diagnosis. I regained my mobility and strength, it truly saved my life.
If you have some dumbbells at home, great! Or look around your recycle bin for some old clothes soap containers. Did you know each of those 2.95 liter bottles weighs about 7lbs. when full of water? You can fill them with sand, too. You might say 7lbs. big deal, but try doing a farmer's walk up and down your hall a few times with them and see what a good workout it can be. Here's a great link to how to do a proper Farmer's Walk.
For now, even though we are under self quarantine, we can still go outside, so get some fresh air… Taking a walk might not come to mind, but yesterday we took a drive to the lake, just to get out of the house, and there was not a soul around; so my daughter and I popped out for a quick walk and some much needed fresh air. It felt amazing, we laughed and forgot about the Coronavirus for a few minutes. Get outside if you can, even just opening a window can help. Remember, the goal is to limit contact with others, but seeking out open space, or popping into the backyard for a bit is good emotionally and for that much needed vitamin D the sun provides.”
Lindsey Sosovec is recovering from a fractured tibial plateau, but that’s not stopping her from training. She has great advice for those of you who also may be in recovery but looking to stay active – Don’t stop training completely, just train what doesn’t hurt.
“One of the biggest mistakes people with lymphedema make when injured is stopping their training altogether. In fact, complete rest can often make pain worse. Unless your doctor prescribes complete rest, find a way to keep training with pain-free movements.
A pivotal study published in 1981 found that chronic pain patients who performed more exercise experienced less chronic pain than those who exercised less. This challenged a long-held belief that rest was the best cure for pain. In fact, your body’s ability to recover and heal itself relies largely on your cardiovascular health, metabolism and immune system — all of which are bolstered by exercise.
Instead of curling up in bed with Netflix and an ice pack, continue to train whatever doesn’t hurt. That may mean avoiding certain exercises, only working certain muscles or reducing the intensity of your workouts.
You can go as far as only training one arm or leg if the other side is hurt. Fun fact: Many studies have found that working out only one limb actually strengthens the other limb too via a phenomena called cross-education. The lesson? Keep working out, even if it’s only one side at a time.”
Veronica Seneriz has fostered a tremendous Lymphie Strong community. If you’re looking for inspiration, motivation or information, she has it! Follow Lymphie Strong on Facebook and Instagram, and consider joining a #MOVETHATLYMPH virtual challenge – the next one starts April 1.
We know that social media has its pros and cons. Andrea Leifer, PT, DPT, CLT offers great advice on how to stay positive while engaging with social media.
“Like or follow the accounts that motivate or inspire you to take action, to be better and to feel a different way. You can also follow a hashtag on Instagram if you want to see more similar accounts posting similar things, but you may not have come across on your own. On Facebook, you can hit ‘see first’ so if you really love someone's posts, and they always posting great things that you enjoy reading, they will be at the top of your feed when you log in. You can even start to create posts so you can start to inspire others.
Once you start letting go of posts and accounts on social media that hold you back, and start letting in people and stories that move you forward, a goal that you once thought might be too hard might seem a little easier to reach.”
Read her full guest blog post.
We hope you find these resources and reminders helpful as we navigate the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We’re in this together, and we will get through it.