Sport and exercise with lipoedema
Sadly, many women with lipoedema are familiar with the difficult and lengthy process of getting a diagnosis. I gave an account of this in my previous post.
But once we finally have a diagnosis, every woman deals with their everyday challenges differently.
I would like to address the topic of sport and exercise for people living with the chronic disease lipoedema.
Sport has always been a part of my life. I started playing football when I was 3 years old, and I played actively for over 20 years.
During that time, I also practised other sports such as table tennis, hockey, dance, judo, and more.
I was always active and on the go. I played many different sports, but I never had a particularly athletic figure. I often felt like my body would never show visible signs of success, despite sometimes exercising 5-6 times a week. Bruises were part of my everyday life, and I had extreme haematomas from almost every sport.
I discovered running for myself in 2017, and I realised then that the pain I had during running was affecting my training. Intuitively, I tried compression underwear, compression socks and sometimes neoprene support garments, without knowing that I had lipoedema.
I was diagnosed in 2019, and from 2021 I made changes to my lifestyle, so I now approach sport and exercise differently.
I am in the fortunate position that I can generally do many different sports. These days, my everyday sport and exercise routine is not about trophies, records, or personal best times. I actually enjoy taking part in public sporting events such as the MuddyAngelRun, women’s running events or the ColoropstacleRUSH, but my motivation is different from that of most participants. I take part to show myself that I can train at my own pace, on my own terms and to the best of my own ability. I like to share my experiences on my Instagram profile to encourage women with curves, women with lipoedema or women with disabilities.
One of reasons I exercise is as a way to control the progression of the disease. Regular exercise with compression is a component of CPD (Complex Physical Decongestive Therapy).
For those of us affected by lipoedema, engaging in movement and creating a “muscle pump” is a way to activate drainage for the stored tissue fluid. The interaction of compression and movement is important.
Personally, I usually wear my compression garments every day. I like to wear my Anita Sports Tights in lots of day-to-day situations. In the evening, I regularly go for a walk with my husband, and I enjoy wearing the comfortable Anita pants. The tights give me a comfortable fit and extremely good freedom of movement. I also like to wear the Lymph O Fit for floor exercises such as stretching, fascia training, yoga, and other floor workouts. Of course, wearing compression tights is good for me, but I also really enjoy being free of them, letting my skin breath.
In the evening, when I get home at about 6.30pm, the first thing I often do is take off my compression garment and throw it in the washing machine. Afterwards, however, I often feel the need to put on the Lymph O Fit for the evening until I go to bed.
Not only do I love how comfortably they are, I also really love the way they look. The designs are exactly to my taste, and I often wear my Anita over my compression tights when exercising. When jumping on the trampoline, which I frequently stream live over ZOOM, I like to work out wearing the fashionable tights.
When I go to the bakery early in the morning on the weekend or dash into the city centre, I love to wear the stylish Sport Tights, which look great paired with everyday outfits.
I feel attractive and feminine wearing these pants. Those two factors are really important for me as a woman with curves and a fat distribution disorder. I don’t just want to be the woman in the compression tights, I want to enjoy my life, enjoy being active, and ensure that exercise continues to be a part of my life.
I especially love the pants models with a high waistband, as I also have pain in the hip area. The fact that the Sports Tights fit at the narrowest part of my waist makes them really comfortable to wear.
Of course, the Anita Lymph O Fit is no substitute for compression care! For me personally, however, it is a great addition to my everyday life when dealing with lipoedema.
I’m always excited when new trend models are released. I really love my colourful and attractive compression products, as well as the gorgeous Anita tights.
When it comes to sport, my motto is:
Colourful is not just about colour, it’s a way of life!
P.S.: I would like to point out that the extent of lipoedema can vary greatly, and that there are people who are not able to do exercise or take part in their favourite sports. Please try not to judge anyone, and instead respect your fellow human beings.