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Moderate weightlifting helps reduce lymphedema flare-ups


Findings from a recent study reveal that moderate weightlifting can help reduce the symptoms of lymphedema.  The swelling of the arms or legs when the lymph vessels retain fluid, known as lymphedema is often caused by injury or removal of lymph nodes.  The condition is common among breast cancer survivors.  Kathryn Schmitz, a scientist at the University of Pennsylvania followed 141 breast cancer survivors who suffered from lymphedema.  She enrolled half of the participants in a 90-minute weightlifting class twice a week for 13 weeks, while the other half did not change their exercise routine.  After a year follow-up, 14 percent of weightlifters had suffered significantly less lymphedema flare-ups, as compared to participants who did not practice weightlifting. While the results appear promising, Schmitz warns that breast cancer survivors should not rush into weightlifting training.  Weightlifting training for breast cancer survivors, explains Schmitz, should involve a certified fitness professional, should start slow, progress gradually, and breast cancer survivors should wear well-fitting compression garment during workouts.


One Response

  1. It’s always pleasant to hear of positive correlation, however much, between two very beneficial, or at least relieving, activities. Weightlifting will also have a number of overall psychological benefits as well, especially for someone who has just undergone such an intense ordeal as breast cancer.

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