I continue to be shocked at the number of cancer survivors who are ill-informed about exercise and lymphedema or that they are even at risk.
They dive head first into an exercise routine, thinking they can pick up right where they left off, only to experience painful, disfiguring swelling that may or may not be reversible.
While preparing a basic workout program, I realized that just advising you to perform lymph drainage exercises will not cut it.
Time to call in an expert!
Andrea Leonard, President and Founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute, and author of “Essential Exercises for Breast Cancer Survivors” (available on Amazon) has graciously agreed to share some of her videos with you.
She demonstrates perfectly how to perform them and offers sage advice on preventing and checking for lymphedema as well as teaching additional exercises.
How cool is that?
Thank you, Andrea!
Please, please, please start with Part 1 before moving on to Part 2, especially if you want to prevent lymphedema! As Andrea explains, if you proceed too quickly, you will have no way of knowing at which point the swelling was triggered.
For example, if you start by curling 2 pound dumbells, taking your time to move on to 3, then 4, then 5 pounds, and notice swelling at the 5 pound weight, you will know it was too much.
If you dove right into 15 pounds because that’s where you were before surgery, and swelling occurs, you won’t know exactly what weight caused the swelling.
Yes, it seems like an eternity and you might be frustrated with the pace, but best to play it safe. You may still reach or exceed your pre-surgery levels.
If you do experience any swelling, see your doctor immediately and, after he or she gives you clearance, you will start back at the beginning.
If you are prescribed a sleeve, WEAR IT! There are some pretty cool looking ones out there.
Watch Part 1 here.
Watch Part 2 here.
Read more about Andrea, her own cancer story and the Cancer Exercise Training Institute here.
She is an inspiration to me and to so many others who are cancer survivors, love someone who’s won or lost their cancer battle and/or who specialize in working with cancer patients.
I’m thankful to have found her and CETI and to help spread the word about cancer and thriving before diagnosis as well as during and after treatments.