We all know that exercise is good for us, and that stands even when have been ill and are perhaps recovering from a major trauma to the body. However, exercising after major surgery should not be business as usual.
Although exercise can help you to recover and get stronger faster if you do too much too soon or push yourself further than your body is ready to go, it could spell disaster, which is why I’ve put together a list of top tips for exercising safely after surgery:
Make a plan
In consultation with your doctor, you should then draw up a plan of action for exercise. Plot out which days you’ll exercise and which you’ll rest, how much you’ll do each day, and which movements should be best avoided. A good personal trainer will also be able to help you make adjustments to most exercises so that they meet your new needs, so hiring a trainer may be a good idea until you’re fully back up on your feet again.
Clean up your diet
Good diet and exercise go hand in hand, and it’s fair to say that feeding yourself well will help you to heal faster too. That’s why you should think about cleaning up your diet before you dip your toes back into exercising. As well as eating plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole foods, focus on foods, herbs, and spices that boost the immune system too, and you’ll find it much easier to perform inside and outside of the gym.
Take it slow
When you’re fresh off the operating table, deadlift double your bodyweight is probably going to be a really bad idea. It’s far better to take things slow, even if you feel like you could do more, and build up your fitness slowly than it is to really go for it and end up right back in the hospital. Walking is great for getting your fitness back when you’re just out of surgery, but if the doctor okays it things like yoga, light aerobics, and lifting light weights may also be fine.
Talk to your doctor
This is really important in general, but especially important if you’ve had major surgery spinal surgery, or a hysterectomy, for example. Good doctors like Richard Parkinson at ispine.com.au will be only too happy to advise you on what it is best to do and not do and in which timeframe you should be able to do it, so you have no reason not to get in touch with your doctor to discuss what may be possible for you.
Maintain a positive attitude
You may not be able to do as much as you could before surgery, and you may struggle to do very much at all in those early days, but instead of getting negative and throwing in the towel, keep telling yourself you’re doing your best and you will get there in the end, and you’ll stick with it and reap the benefits for sure.
Here’s to healthy healing!