Take good care of yourself to lower your odds of getting arm lymphedema.

Running woman

Get Good Nutrition

  • Cut back on foods high in salt and fat.
  • Have at least two to four servings of fruits and three to five servings of vegetables each day.
  • Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need.
  • Use the package label information to make healthy choices.
  • Get fiber from whole-grain versions of breads, cereals, pasta, and rice. Fruit and veggies are good sources too.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay at your ideal body weight.
  • Avoid alcohol

Exercise regularly

  • Check with your doctor on the type of exercises you’re allowed to do
  • Walking, swimming, biking are nice workouts to get your heart pumping
  • For upper-body weight lifting, check with your doctor about the best time to get back to it as well as any weight restrictions.
  • Stop doing any exercise that gives you pain. And if your arm on the side where you had surgery becomes tired during exercise, cool down, then rest and elevate it.

Hand Wash

Avoid infections

  • Wear gloves while doing housework or gardening.
  • Avoid cutting your cuticles when manicuring your nails.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water often, especially before you prepare food, after you use the bathroom, or after you touch soiled linens or clothes.
  • Protect your skin from scratches, sores, burns, and other irritations that might lead to an infection. Use electric razors to remove hair, and replace the razor head frequently.
  • Use insect repellents to prevent bug bites.