The list below is a general guideline of high risk, medium risk and beneficial activities for upper and lower extremity lymphoedema patients. Always take maximum precautions and discuss any planned activities you are unsure of with your therapist.

UPPER EXTREMITY

HIGH RISK
MEDIUM RISK
BENEFICIAL
Gardening
Tennis/racquet sports
Golf
Moving furniture
Carrying luggage
Carrying grocery bags
Scrubbing
Weight lifting with arm
Intense horse riding(gripping reigns)
Jogging / running
Biking (use aero-bars, minimize gripping)
Stair Master (with gripping bars on the side)
Exerciser (use min. grip)
General weight lifting of the rest of the body
Easy horse riding (hold the reigns loose)
Swimming
Lymphoedema exercise program
Walking
Stair Master (no grip and elevate arm
sometimes)
Self MLD
Yoga
Water aerobics

LOWER EXTREMITY

HIGH RISK
MEDIUM RISK
BENEFICIAL
Running
Intense biking
Moving furniture
Soccer
Hockey
Rugby
Sitting or standing over long periods
Weight lifting with legs
Stairmaster longer than 15min
Wrestling
Intense horse riding
Light jogging
Biking longer than 30 min.
Golfing
Weight lifting (upper extremity)
Exerciser longer than 15min.
Stairmaster longer than 5min.
Volleyball / Tennis (easy)
Easy horse riding
Walking
Easy biking 10-20 min
Lymphoedema exercises
Swimming
Calf pumps
Exerciser 5-10 min.
Deep breathing exercises
Yoga
Water aerobics

EXERCISE PROGRAM GUIDELINES FOR PATIENTS WITH LYMPHOEDEMA

Perform your exercises wearing your compression bandages or garment.

Do not wear tight or restricting clothing (tight underwear or bra, heavy breast prostheses, etc.)

Try to exercise twice daily for 10- 15 min. and increase the length of the exercise session slowly over a comfortable period of time.

Perform each exercise in a slow and controlled manner. After muscle contraction, be sure to relax adequately before beginning again. The time spent relaxing should be at least as long as the time spent during the exercise.

Be sure to maintain good posture (e.g. performing your exercises while sitting in a chair) and to keep the muscles not involved in the exercise relaxed. Alternate tensing and relaxing the muscle groups.

Begin and end each of the exercise sessions with breathing exercises, include proper breathing in every exercise.

Wait with your exercise program until 20-30 minutes after your MLD treatment.

It is recommended that you rest at least 15-20 minutes with your limb elevated after the exercise session.

Patients with lymphoedema of the leg may exercise while lying on the floor, preferably on some kind of cushioned mat or other surface that maintains some firmness.

Patients with lymphoedema of the arm may sit on a kitchen chair without leaning back; many of the exercises, however, may be performed lying on the floor.

PLEASE NOTE:


DO NOT PERFORM ANY STRENUOUS OR PAINFUL MOVEMENTS.

DO NOT PERFORM ANY MOVEMENTS THAT YOU FIND CAUSED SORENESS OR RESULT IN CHARLIE HORSE

AFTER RADIATION THERAPY YOU MUST DISCUSS THE EXERCISE PROGRAM WITH YOUR LYMPHOEDEMA. THERAPIST