Get fit and soothe your symptoms with a water workout
Early results from Lipoedema UK’s Big Survey show that exercising in water is one
of the most beneficial activities for people with lipoedema
Why water works for lipoedema
Exercising in water is a low impact exercise and kind to your body. Even if you are
not a natural swimmer, there are many ways to benefit.
• Walking in water is extremely good for anyone with swelling in their legs, the
lower you are, the greater the pressure.
• All exercising in water strengthens the muscles in your body and in time
make you fitter and leaner.
• Take the pressure off your joints and limbs and give yourself a few minutes
peace from the hustle and bustle of life.
• Laps can help you build muscle, improve tone and manage your weight.
Plan a strategy for success
• Visit the pool ahead of time and familiarize yourself with layout.
• Ask the pool staff, to tell you when are the best times to avoid the crowds
• Check out the layout and options available in the changing rooms.
• Search the shops and internet for your perfect swimming suit. Would you be
happier in a body type suit or swim suit plus knee length swim shorts. There
are many more options than you would imagine.
• Allow enough time to shower and and pamper yourself. Most changing areas
have hair driers but check. You may need small change to activate them.
• Swim with a friend or splash around with the kids.
• Observe any classes before you sign up, look for aqua-aerobics classes
where the teacher leads from in the water, otherwise the pace may be too fast.
• Start slowly and build up your stamina. Be prepared to leave a class early if
you’ve had enough. Always do things at your own pace.
Beware of hidden dangers in the Coffee Shop
• Don’t undo all your good work in the coffee shop afterwards, steer clear of
sugary drinks and high calorie snacks in the coffee shop.
• Plan your meals carefully to keep up the good work.
• Drink lots of water to flush out the toxins.
• Don’t swim if you have bacterial or fungal skin infections or are in any way
• Never continue an exercise that hurts - pain is a warning.
• Don’t swim after a large meal, but have a light snack 1-2 hours before.
What to do in the water
• Take your own floats such as water noodles, they only cost a few pounds, and
bend into lots of different shapes.
• Try to avoid breast stroke as this can weaken your knee joints. If you are able
to do crawl, alternate between legs and arms to strengthen your different
• Walk in the water, heel, toe motion to stretch out your muscles.
• If you have good balance in the water, sit on a float and try ‘cycling’ around the
• Don’t forget to exercise your arms.
• Use rails or hand bars to stretch out and tone muscles.
Holidays are the perfect opportunity to get into shape, try out new outfits or ideas.
• Be an early bird, leave the rest of the family in bed and swim before breakfast
and before you put on any suntan lotion. You will feel smug all day and your
skin will feel fresher.
• Use a very weak mixture of water and shampoo to clean your goggles or
masks and prevent condensation.
• If you swim after sunbathing, put sunscreen on well before you swim and use
waterproof sports sunscreen on your face, to prevent your eyes stinging.
• Check labels for how often to reapply sunscreen.
• Avoid hot tubs, cool water is best and most refreshing.
Hit the beach
• Don’t walk on the beach, walk in the water,.
• Go as deep as you are comfortable, waist high is best.
• On lovely clean sand, get in tune with nature and go barefoot,
• Choose a safe beach and check the tides timetables. An incoming tide is much
safer than an outgoing one.
• Learn about the Red Flag warning system and never enter a danger area flying
a Red flag, some parts of a beach are more dangerous than others.
• If you don’t want to strip off, wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting wet.
• Protect your feet if the ground is uneven, It’s essential for anyone with
Lipoedema to avoids cuts and bruises.
• Never swim without being sure someone knows you are in the water or go out
of your depth unless you are a very strong swimmer.
Swimming isn’t just for summer, it’s for life!
Don’t put away the swim suit at the end of the holiday season. Buy some bargain
swim suits in the end of season sales and keep swimming through out the year.
That way you’ll keep up your fitness and really see some improvements when you
hit the beach the following year.
Where to start
Website of The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) provides a wealth of
information on the benefits of swimming and resources available.
Your Doctor may be able to recommend you for the medical referral scheme for
swimming at your local leisure facility.
Provides information on bathing water quality, on weather, travel, lifeguards,
facilities and activities at over 1,000 UK beaches.
In the next few weeks Lipoedema UK will be launching a new survey into the
Benefits of Exercise, if you would like to take part, please send an email to