Monday, May 25, 2020

AGILITY FOR OUR MOBILITY: It Is Time To Start Thinking Outside The Box

Using a chalk agility ladder to help improve your balance and mobility, nothing to catch a foot on, so no tripping concerns.
Agility is the ability to quickly change the position of the body with speed and accuracy.  It involves turning, moving our legs (and arms) and the ability to pivot quickly.

Typically agility is discussed in relation to sports athletes training, football tire drills always come to mind for me.

So how does that relate to those with Lipedema?
Because improving our agility will help a great deal with falling, something we are prone to do as we advance to later stages of Lipedema. 

Improving our agility can turn a fall into a stumble that we are able to recover from, and stop the fall from happening.

Issues of balance are amplified due to the heaviness and shape of our legs, and they contribute to our gait issues. So any small crack in the pavement, a tree root, a child’s toy, etc. can cause us to stumble, and without better agility, that stumble can turn into a nasty fall.

Coach said something that struck a chord with me the other day, agility training doesn’t have to be all tire drills, and super fast paced; it is picking a spot on the floor and trying to step there, so we build up our ability to place our foot where we want to when we need to (like when we stumble). A great at home option is drawing an agility ladder on your driveway with chalk, or using painters tape. I used 18” squares, and yes, I’m a bit anal so I got out the ruler 🤣 but you can use tiles on the kitchen floor and practice putting your feet where you want them to go.

Here are a couple pictures of how a tire drill can be done using a homemade agility ladder. It can be done using one square, or as you get familiar with the in and out movement, you can move up to the next box, then the next, and even try doing it backwards when you need a more challenging movement. 
Simple steps to take to improve your agility, balance and mobility

Lipedema Fitness shows you how to use a chalk agility ladder to improve your balance and mobility.

This is just one option, there are so many others. Remember to stay mindful, pick a spot where you want to put your foot and try putting it there

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Under Pressure: Water Pressure vs. Compression Garments

One of the most important self care items for treating Lipedema is wearing graduated compression. Your stage of Lipedema will dictate the level of compression you need, which is measured in Millimetres of Mercury (or mmHg). 

For example, I was diagnosed with stage 3 primary Lipedema and secondary Lymphedema (also known as Lipolymphedema). The level of compression I am prescribed is 30-40mmHg.

This means greater pressure (40mmHg) is at the ankle, and as it goes up my leg it gradually lessons in pressure (30mmHg). The reason is to help move the lymph fluid up my leg, because at my stage my lymphatics are compromised, and without the graduated compression my legs would fill up with fluid.

One of the most beneficial activities we can do to help our condition, is aqua fitness. One of the reasons it is so beneficial is because the water acts like natural graduated compression (the deeper the water the more pressure).

Which had me wondering how the water pressure compared to the compression of our garments.

I have tried googling this for the past couple years, I have asked at the pool, and while everyone knew it was good for us, nobody talked about the actual numbers.

Last week I was watching a presentation, and the presenter mentioned being in 3 feet of water was the equivalent of wearing 70 grade compression. Aha! It got me thinking again about finding some answers.

While I could not find a direct water to compression comparison, I could find water pressure to PSI (pound-force per square inch), and I could find PSI to mmHg.

So drum roll please, here is what I found...

Calculating Swimming Pool water pressure compared to level of compression it simulates.

There are many converters online, I checked out a few to make sure the numbers added up, but if you want to get more technical, here you go, courtesy of
  • 1 PSI = 6,894.76 pascals (Pa)
  • 1 mmHg = 133.322 pascals (Pa)
  • psi value x 6,894.76 Pa = mmHg value x 133.322 Pa
  • psi value = mmHg value / 51.7149