When you are recovering from surgery, it can often be difficult to even get out of bed – so it is also unlikely that you will be able to find the energy to make it to the gym. With this in mind, you will probably need to find some other ways to stay in shape as you recover.
Gabriel Patterson, originally from Winnipeg, Canada is a certified personal trainer and advocate for a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Here, he shares five tips that should help you along the way.
1. Eat right
Your body needs nutritious foods in the right quantities to recover correctly after surgery. However, this is no excuse to overeat and stay stationary as this will most likely lead to weight gain. Ensure that you eat small, but frequent meals during this time to avoid taxing your digestive system and leaving yourself feeling worn out. Ensure that your meals have plenty of vegetables and lean protein. Eat plenty of fiber and ensure that you are drinking adequate amounts of water as this will keep you feeling fuller for longer, so you can avoid feeling peckish throughout the day.
2. Begin slowly
Avoid strenuous exercise for the first couple of months after surgery to allow your body to heal correctly and prevent injury. This means that activities like weight lifting, aerobics, and running are out for the first few months. Concentrate instead on low impact exercises such as swimming, walking, cycling, and Pilates. “Ensure that you get your doctor’s permission before starting any activities after surgery,” stated Patterson.
3. Enlist the help of a physiotherapist
Sessions with a physiotherapist are an essential part of recovery, especially if you have had hip, shoulder or knee surgery. A physiotherapist will come up with a structured program that will promote both weight loss and healing. He/she will also help you to keep going on days when you feel like giving up in addition to providing the support you need to ensure complete healing.
4. Focus on building balance and stamina
Even if you are unable to exercise areas that have undergone surgery, you can improve your total body strength, balance, and stability by using exercises such as clams, planks, back extensions, and hip hinges. Start on these exercises as soon as you have an OK from your doctor and use them to stay in shape until you can work out affected areas.
5. Practice yoga
Some forms of yoga such as the bed or chair options can help you to keep muscles supple while reducing pain from injured tissues. Techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness can help take your mind off the pain and help you concentrate on stretching exercises that improve mobility and get rid of stiffness. Ensure that you work with a qualified yoga instructor to come up with a program that will help you stay in shape, minimize pain and prevent injury.
It can undoubtedly be quite challenging to stay in shape while recovering from surgery. However, as long as you follow the tips outlined in this article, you will be able to keep your body fit and healthy while you recuperate.