Fitness After Surgery: Four Tips To Getting Back Into Shape



After having a surgical procedure, your doctor may tell you to take it easy while you’re recovering. When this waiting period is over, you may find yourself feeling physically weak and slightly over your regular weight. You may also find it hard to do the things you did before surgery without feeling winded or fatigued. The good news is that this can be turned around in a matter of weeks by getting back into the swing of things. If you’re ready to get started, here are four helpful tips to help you get back into shape.

Start Small While in the Hospital

If you’ve had a cannulae inserted for some time, you may be finding it hard to do simple tasks such as walking or lifting. If this is the case, start small. You can begin by moving your feet around in circles; this gets your blood flowing and helps to improve muscle activity and nerve response in your legs. Next, stretch your arms out at each side and then retract them back to your chest; this helps to get your heart pumping and it increases blood flow the muscles in your arms. When doing these simple movements your heart rate may feel uncomfortably quick. This normally happens after long periods of inactivity. However, once your body gets used to the movements your heart rate will begin to slow down to its normal pace.

Get Your Cardio and Start Walking

Walking improves blood flow, strengthens the heart and boosts weight loss. According to Mayo Clinic, walking just 30 minutes per day can help decrease the risk of developing heart disease or obesity. It could also bring down your blood pressure and stabilize blood sugar levels. According to UW Health, walking after surgery promotes the flow of oxygen throughout your body and helps you to maintain normal breathing functions.

Use Your Own Body Strength and Reduce the Use of Workout Equipment

When you first come out of hospital, you may be feeling good enough to jump on your old treadmill or exercise bike, but this equipment may cause your body to heal slower. Instead of taking the risk of injuring yourself, use your own body strength by making use of resistance bands or doing simple pilates or yoga moves. These moves will promote the growth of important muscle fibers and will also minimize the risk of you developing muscular atrophy (muscle loss).

Take Multivitamins and Eat a Very Healthy Diet

After your surgery, you may be lacking certain nutrients. Fiber, protein and complex-carbohydrates are very important nutrients that supply you with energy, balances out your blood glucose and builds muscle tissues. By having a diet high in these nutrients, you will help increase the speed at which your body heals and you’ll give your body the fuel it needs to power through your workout. Ask your doctor if you can take multivitamins. Multivitamins contain all of the additional nutrients you need to help aid the healing process.

From the above four items, one theme is clear — taking it easy. Your body needs time to repair itself, so you do need adequate rest for it to do its job. Start off slow, build up over time and focus on healing in addition to fitness.