The importance of everyday physical activity
Throughout the series of blogs this week for Lymphoedema Awareness Week, there has been a recurring theme which is the importance of regular physical activity and movement to stimulate the flow of our lymph system!
As a quick refresher, the movements which we make during our everyday activities lead to the expansion and contraction of our muscles. These muscle movements are what cause the massaging and squeezing effect that is vital in stimulating the flow of lymph around our body. Just like the heart is required to pump blood around our bodies, movement is needed to get the lymph fluid flowing!
It really is undeniable that physical activity is important for our lymph system. Despite this, you might still be unsure what physical activity actually is and wondering “do I do enough of it?”
Well, physical activity is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles which requires energy expenditure.’ It can definitely be a bit of a grey area where common misconceptions are often made; physical activity has long been considered simply as sport/exercise or going for a walk or run to increase steps. As beneficial as these activities are, this is just a one-dimensional way of viewing physical activity. It is actually far more diverse than this… here is a good example to put this into context:
Imagine a person who regularly goes for runs, let’s say 4 times per week…
But outside of this they live a sedentary lifestyle, they have an office job and drive to work. Other than running and a quick walk at lunch to grab some lunch, their days lack movement.
In terms of vigorous activity, they would be classed as active. But in terms of non-sedentary time, they are spent majority of their days in a sedentary state.
Here at LymphActiv, we know that every move you make matters because physical activity is multidimensional. Throughout our everyday lives, we can do physical activity in ways such as climbing the stairs, making the bed, putting out the washing, and gardening, to name a few. And ALL of these movements help keep the lymph fluid flowing.
This is good news because exercise doesn’t appeal to everyone, in fact, it can actually be really daunting for many of us. Everyone is different and focusing on what works best for you is the best way to achieve meaningful physical activity behaviour change to ensure more sustained management of your lymphoedema.
LymphActiv establishes the use of everyday ‘free living’ physical activity for the treatment of lymphoedema, lipoedema and other lymphatic conditions. Those who use LymphActiv learn how to make their every move valuable and are empowered to becoming their own expert, to take back control of their health! This knowledge and understanding gives them control over their health and wellbeing forever.
The LymphActiv Team