Sharie Fetzer Research Co-ordinator at Lipoedema UK
Sharie has had Lipoedema since she was a teenager but was only diagnosed in her mid-forties. She has fought it constantly with diet, exercise, MLD and bandaging, and like many of us is frustrated that there has been so little progress in either diagnosis or treatment. She would like to find ways of looking for a cure so that the disease can be caught and treated as early as possible for future generations.
Now retired, she has worked for Marks and Spencer in Management and was part of the Management Team at a leading firm of occupational psychologists.
Sharie gave a presentation on 'Exercising with Lipoedema' Sharie explained that exercises such as swimming, walking and cycling are recommended because they increase lymphatic drainage and improve blood flow through the affected limbs. High impact exercising (i.e. jogging, step-aerobics) may make matters worse and exacerbate join pain.
Sharie herself an avid swimmer really feels that swimming is the way forward for most Lipoedema Ladies as is exercising in cold water. Water supports painful joints and the pressure of deep water on the legs helps improve lymphatic and venous function. Walking in chest-high water (in a safe place) is especially good because it provides graduated, painless compression to the legs.
Understandably, poor body image means some women with Lipoedema are hesitant to take part in group or public exercises. Over time, the combination of lack of exercise and a worsening of our condition lead to increased lack of mobility, which in turn limits the ability to exercise, So the cycle must be broken.
'Sharie (lipoedema uk) with the help of lipoedema ladies are planning a star rating system of swimming pools in the uk. a kind of trip advisor of swimming pools. the pools will be scored on their overall design, accessibility, times of opening, privacy in changing rooms, friendliness, suitability of aqua aerobics classes for ladies with lipoedema, and especially how well designed and accessible the pool steps are for people who have mobility problems.'
Sharie is looking out for volunteers and hoping to recruit women throughout the UK to help her in this. Please contact Sharie if you are interested in helping.
You can also find an article by Sharie in our Lifestyle and Exercise section on this website.
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