(Click below to watch the video for a demonstration – or read the transcript that follows – to see how snowshoeing is a perfect lymph fluid-moving wintertime activity.)
Special thanks go to my mother and brother, who gave me the snowshoes and poles as a Christmas present this year. My family has always encouraged me to try new things as I cope with lymphedema. You never know what new activity, product or routine could make an impact in the successful management of this condition. I am very lucky to have cheerleaders to keep pushing me past my comfort zone, and to make sure I never lose hope that we all can find a better way to live with lymphedema.
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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: “I’m always looking for new ways to get exercise to get the lymphatic fluid flowing, and today I am trying snowshoeing. And what’s great about snowshoeing is – well, it’s fun – but the repeated action of lifting up your legs like this creates a natural pump in my legs especially in the groin area here to get that lymph fluid flowing and the cardiovascular exercise forces me to breathe really deeply and that causes the lymphatic fluid to get going all over the entire body, so it’s an excellent exercise for my lymphedema.
It can be tough in the wintertime to find an exercise to keep things going and not just stay inside. My normal activity is swimming and that can be kind of tough to want to do in 15-degree weather.
So what do you need for snowshoeing? You need to go to a ski or sports supply store and pick up snowshoes like this, and you need waterproof or warm boots to slide inside. Poles are optional, but nice to keep you steady — and maybe a friend or two to go with you.
Be sure to always wear your compression stockings when you exercise and consult your lymphedema therapist or doctor before you attempt any new exercise.