Exercise and Lymphedema

As an Exercise Physiologist, we often get asked about exercising with cancer. 

 

There are many misconceptions about exercising with cancer - in particular, whether or not it will increase the symptoms of lymphedema. 

 

There is now consensus that exercise, when performed with supervision and following a tailored program, will not increase lymphedema, This is great news to those who have been concerned that symptoms may be worsened due to exercise. 

 

the key is to have a balanced program, that includes mobility (stretching, foam rolling), strengthening (weights) and aerobic exercise (running, swimming). The following tips may be helpful in creating a safe and enjoyable routine:

- Get some advice - seek the expertise of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist - someone who understands what needs to be taken into consideration when designing a program

- There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Thats why you won’t see a sample program from us here. Every body is different, with a different starting point and different strengths - it is imperative that a program be developed from scratch, and increased incrementally. 

- Start slow. Build up over time. Take regular, scheduled breaks. Use your ams as a guide - be aware of the symptoms, and do not persist if there are changes. 

- Have a whole body routine. Lower body and core exercises can have a crossover effect to the upper body. 

 

At Rebound Health we coach our Northern Beaches community to better health by creating a safe and proactive environment, and implementing an integrated approach to support sustainable lifestyle change and goal achievement.