Reintegrating exercise into your routine after surgery can be an important component of your recovery. Most surgeries require at least 6 weeks of no exercise, or at least only very gentle exercise, although you should always closely follow the instructions of your surgeon. However, when done carefully, exercising is important in rebuilding strength and endurance, as well as assisting with your mental recovery after surgery.
Here are 3 forms of exercise that can be done (once given the all clear from your surgeon) to gently reintroduce yourself to exercise!
Short walks are the best form of exercise to re-introduce yourself after your surgery. Walking is a brilliant way to help with circulation that can be impacted during recovery, it can support your mental health and your body will get used to using your leg muscles again.
Start by doing very short walks when you are allowed to, for example to the kitchen and back. The next day, you might try to do that twice, then gradually work your way up until you feel confident to leave the house. When you do leave the house, make sure you go out with a loved one or carer the first few times, just in case you feel too tired or you aren’t steady on your feet.
When you are spending a lot of your time resting, you may feel more light headed than usual, so make sure that you always sit up on the edge of the bed or sofa for a few minutes before you stand up.
Cycling is an ideal exercise after surgery, as it is low impact and helps you to regain a good range of motion. The time you are able to start cycling after surgery will differ, for example a breast implant replacement patient may be ready after 6 weeks, whereas someone who had knee surgery would need much longer recovery time. The best place to start is with an indoor bike, as trying to cycle and remain stable at the same time on an outdoor bike might be too much to start with. Make sure you feel confident that you can ride a fair distance on the indoor bike before you try to go outdoors.
Start on a very low resistance and then you can work your way up over time. As with walking, this is a great option to get your circulation going again, but in a very controlled environment. Just make sure that you don’t do too much too soon. Start with short, low resistance cycles, and you will soon be able to build up your endurance.
Restorative yoga is a completely different type of exercise that is both safe and effective. This might be a form of exercise that you can’t do for a little while after surgery, however it can become important in your long term recovery. You can re-establish a mind body connection which you might have lost over time and it also has endless amounts of psychological benefits.
The poses you do will differ quite dramatically depending on the nature of your surgery, however the best choices for you can be discussed with your surgeon and also yoga professionals. This is the best form of exercise to strengthen both your mind and body, so it should definitely be considered as an important part of your recovery.
You do need to be cautious of not doing too much too soon, so make sure you aren’t exceeding your surgeons recommendations and get plenty of rest. Whether you have had a breast implant removal Manchester-based or bowel surgery in London, give gentle walks, cycling and yoga a go to see what works best for you!