How to Get Active After Surgery

Getting active after surgery can be complicated. You will have weight restrictions and, depending on the type of surgery you have, you could have limitations on how you move and how often. We understand that for most people being active isn’t just about maintaining weight or gaining strength. It helps relieve stress, which is a huge part of most people’s lives. Plus, getting up gets your blood flowing and helps prevent blood clots. So for those who need to stay active after surgery, here are a few tips.

Listen to Your Doctor
Listening to your doctor’s directions and advice is the most important action you can take after surgery. You don’t want to injure yourself again by pushing too hard, so before you start getting active again, check with your physician. He or she will inform you of your limitations as well as a list of activities you can do.

Take Your Time
Before you start exercising, it’s important to understand the limits of your body. You won’t be able to do everything at the same level you did before the surgery and that’s okay. Take your time and don’t push yourself too hard. That action could result in an injury and added healing time.

Start with Walking

As soon as your doctor allows, start walking. This allows your lungs to open up and circulates blood throughout your body, which helps with healing. Don’t push your body too far. Even if you are an avid runner, start with short walks right after your surgery and slowly progress to the activities you are accustomed to.

Work on Other Muscle Groups
Depending on what area of your body the surgery took place, you can focus on other muscle groups. If you’ve had hip surgery, you can focus on your upper body and core until your hip is healed enough to start exercising again. Exercises could include arm weight training or crunches. The same goes for those who have shoulder surgery. You could do lunges, crunches or simply walk to keep your body in motion during your recovery time.

Try Swimming
Once your incisions have healed, give swimming a try. It takes the pressure off of your body while exercising most of your muscles. Start out slow, walking in the shallow end. Be sure you check with your doctor to ensure your incisions can be submerged.

Want to know more about how to get active and stay active? Check out some of our other great resources.