Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My newest obsession: spinning

I know it has been some time since I last wrote a blog entry. My boyfriend of nearly five years proposed around my birthday last May 2012 and we were married March 16, 2013. It has been a busy year with a lot of changes like a new job and planning the wedding so time has slipped away. My condition has remained about the same but I do notice that my leg is slightly larger than it used to be which probably means that I need to revisit physical therapy. One big change that I have made within the last several months is my obsession with spinning. One of the women that I’ve met over the years through Lymphedema sites told me how she enjoyed cycling and was improving her Lymphedema. I live in Chicago and am also horrendously klutzy so being on a bicycle in the streets of Chicago sounded like a death sentence. I opted for the safer gym version of spinning. Running had and still is, too painful for me. Many women with Lymphedema can jog and enjoy it so don't hesitate to give it a shot but unfortunately, I have to quit running. My leg would get very swollen and painful after running and I was having more hip pain than with just walking. That's when I decided to give spinning a shot. I started going to one particular instructor who is gifted in instructing a spinning class and plays great music like deadmau5. The workout is much more challenging than my typical elliptical routine. My body quickly got back into shape and in better shape going to spinning 3 times a week than doing the elliptical for 5. The classes are intense and past paced so you don’t feel like you’ve been working out for a long time. I also have noticed that my hip pain is nothing like it used to be. I still have flare ups but nothing like the pain I had when I was jogging. The various positions of spinning are likely what’s ideal for our legs. In spinning positions 2 and 3, you are raised up from the seat which allows for more lymph circulation than in the seated position. Another wonderful aspect about spinning classes is that you control the resistance and speed. If you start feeling pain or like your Lymphedema leg can’t keep up, you can keep the resistance low and go at a slower pace. Like always, please remember that while you are strong, you also have Lymphedema. There are good days and bad. Sometimes will be more challenging than others. Some spin classes I feel like I don’t have Lymphedema and others, my leg finds too exhausting. Just be careful with any exercise and adjust to what your leg is telling you.