Saturday, October 31, 2020

Getting Up/Down Safely with Lipedema

The following is a compilation of posts and videos I have shared with my Lipedema Fitness Facebook support group; each showing various methods of how I get down to, and back up off, the ground. 

Safely getting off the ground is a big deal in later stage Lipolymphedema patients, our balance becomes more and more challenging as we advance, and carry more fluid in out bodies.

Some cannot manage getting up, 

A big part of my workouts include getting down (and back up) from the floor. Which was my initial goal when starting to train after my Lipedema diagnosis and after listening to wrong advice being given to us about exercise being bad for our symptoms early on in my diagnosis.

When I began training again I had lost nearly all my mobility and could barely stand. I am grateful to the strength training and improved core strength that allowed me to achieve this goal, and I try to do some ground work as often as possible, to keep being able to do so.

Tried a new getup from the ground, using no knees (after watching the Dr. Jo video I posted earlier today, my brain was like “I wonder if I could do that?”)... and my body said YES WE CAN!

This is seven years in the making, lots of core work, and lots of pushup progressions - from doing standing pushups against my kitchen sink, to gradually going lower in what I used to modify (table, bench, stacked mats to finally being able to do them on the floor, which also started me on my getoff the floor work). 

Then I started being able to hold a plank, and worked up to how long I could hold it, which involved lots of walking out with my hands from a piked position, then walking my hands back in.

This is not a move I’m suggesting people do, you can really hurt yourself, it is a post to show progression, and how important the body weight moves we do are, especially for functional fitness. 

Being able to move our bodies through space is such a gift, one we need to continually work on and try to improve, especially as we age, and/or advance in our Lipedema. I use my upper body strength so much in moving my body throughout the day.

Last video of getting up off the ground from a seated position. I typically turn over and use my knees, but have been working on other alternatives. Learned I could do this after Turkish getups last year. Love learning new things.

Monday, October 26, 2020

What is Your Fitness Focus

What do you focus on when doing cardio? 

Distance? Time? Intensity?

I used to love cardio; I would spend hours at the gym using the treadmill, the elliptical, and the bike; plus weight machines (which I always liked, but was not so familiar). 

I would put my headphones in and spend 2-3 hours enjoying the time to decompress and be active. 

I felt strong, I felt coordinated, and I had fun.

Since my Lipedema has progressed, cardio has become more and more challenging, and something I don’t feel strong in any more. 

Add to that the balance issues that come with later stage Lipolymphedema, and I’m surprised it took me until today to solve the cardio puzzle.

I was baffled why it has been hard to get into a regular cardio routine, when I used to love it. 

But today was an aha moment, in talking it out with Coach, I realized the emotional aspect, the feeling vulnerable in the work. I no longer felt strong doing cardio, like I do lifting weights, flipping tires, swinging sledgehammers, etc.

Now that I have verbalized it, recognized it, I can begin to navigate cardio with a new understanding.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Lipedema Fitness Product Review: Cubii Pro (under desk elliptical)

Move your Lymphatics and stay mobile with the Cubii Pro under desk elliptical - check out this review from Lipedema Fitness, and see if this can help you with helping you get and stay more active.
Recently a member of the Lipedema Fitness support group shared that Good Morning America had a Cubii Pro ergonomic elliptical on their #dealsandsteals segment for $218.

Since ankle pumping is a great way to move our lymphatics it peaked my interest. Not to mention working from home can create challenges for staying active.

I purchased it, because I am the Queen of trying things for my group. To see if something our Lipedema bodies can do, and if I find it helpful for caring for our condition.

This was a great deal, as the Cubii Pro lists for around $350. The Cubii Jr. runs around $250. Pro comes with Bluetooth connectivity that wirelessly connects to a mobile app to help you keep track of your progress. Please note that this post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you click on the link and purchase the item (at no additional cost to you). It does in no way alter the review I provide for any item.

The Cubii came well packaged, included a screwdriver and 4 small screws to put it together (which took under five minutes). It has a handle and weighs about 25 pounds. The deal I purchased came with (2) Therabands, which you can feed through the handle on the Cubii to add in arm movements (again, great for moving our lymphatics and reducing swelling).

It fits under my dining room table, and my knees do not hit the table when using it, although the center support beam on my dining room table does prevent the Cubii from sliding back as far as I would like - an easy fix is to move my chair back, but ideally I would not have to adjust my chair, so I could use effortlessly throughout the workday.

It definitely pumps your ankles, which is great for moving our lymphatics, which reduces the swelling in our legs. It also targets your core (use good posture), calves, quads, glutes and hammies.

Try pedaling forwards and backwards for targeting different muscles, as well as varying your foot positions (having your foot further forward vs. further back on the foot pedal - each will engage difference muscles and parts of the foot). I was surprised at how quickly my muscles felt the movements, especially my quads, I could tell my body was not used to moving in this direction, similar to a seated knee lift, and it was nice to feel those muscles getting a good workout.

There is a resistance dial on the front (goes up to an 8), the higher the number the more resistance, and it is pretty challenging on 8, I am using at a 5 most of the time, and bump up the resistance if I want a more challenging experience.

I began using Cubii while checking emails, then when watching TV (after work) I would use during commercials. Fitting in small increments keeps you active.

PLUS: it really helps move those hip flexors! Key when you have a desk job.

I have not charged it once, I just use it manually. Mainly because the cord does not reach the Cubii while it is under my table, so I would have to move it out and charge it, then move it back in. Not a too heavy thing (again about 25 pounds), but more a convenience thing, and I don't have a need to track my friends on the bluetooth, but I would like to know stride, mileage, time, etc. So eventually I'll plug it in and give it a go.

The bonus on the weight of the machine, is it doesn't seem to move while you are using it, the weight keeps it stationary, which is a good thing. It is built solid.

There were (2) other pieces in the box, 2 wheel stabilizers, if you use while seated at a chair that has wheels, the front two wheels would sit in the stabilizers and thus not roll when you pedal. Smart!

Summary: I think this is a good option (if in your budget) for those with limited mobility, like many with later stage Lipedema, or if you are just starting to get active, or recovering from an injury (knee, hip, ankle). It is very easy on your joints, especially those knees. But if you are looking to replace gym (cardio) type workouts (treadmill, bike or standing elliptical), this will probably not give you what you need. This is a seated option only, they include warnings to not stand on it.

I am dealing with some plantar fasciitis (heel pain), and using the Cubii does not seem to cause any additional pain, like standing seems to do.  

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Whole Body Vibration (WBV) for Lipedema - foot positions

When on vacation I use a traveling whole body vibration plate. I don’t have access to my main high end model, so this less expensive option has really come in handy for traveling.

Today I noticed the marking on the platform...

Running / Jogging / Walking

Meaning if you place your feet to the outside of the platform it simulates running (you feel the most vibration). Bring your feet a little closer inward and it simulate jogging (feel less vibration). And bringing your feet closer to the center of the platform simulates walking (feel least amount of vibration).

This is a great way to turn up (or down) the intensity of your self care treatment. It is also a way to help with balance. A wider stance (especially with wider hips of Lipedema) can feel more stable. As with everything we try, you have to experience it for yourself and determine what feels best to you.

Do you use a vibration machine? And if so, do you play around with your feet position?

Tip: if you are concerned about balance, try placing between a door opening or next to the wall and hold on, or sit down and just put your feet on it.