- Posted by Multi-Care Medical
- On March 7, 2017
When a patient has surgery, the recovery period can last several weeks if not longer, depending on the procedure performed. During surgery recovery, many people are concerned with staying in shape as they may be unable to perform their normal workouts while recuperating.
Surgery recovery presents its own challenges with regular workouts, but if a patient is careful they can maintain levels of physical activity which not only keeps them in shape but also assists in recovery.
Here is a brief overview on how to remain active during recovery from surgery.
Safety and Getting Started
Before starting any post-surgery recovery workout regimen a patient should consult with their doctor. Certain surgeries place physical limitations on what a patient can do. This can include limits on lifting weights or an acceptable level of strenuous activities.
After consulting a doctor it is advisable for a patient to slowly ease themselves back into physical activity. The first exercise should be (if possible) walking. Simply walking 1 to 3 miles daily encourages good health and speeds up the healing process. Careful stretching should also be done to keep muscles loose and to avoid injury. Be sure to avoid any stretching around areas that are recovering from surgery.
Working around Recovering Areas
Surgery recovery can limit things such as strength, flexibility, endurance, or joint strength. When recovering, modifications to any existing workouts a person does will have to be made. For example, while jogging may not be possible, other types of cardio workouts may be. Alternative exercises could include Pilates, swimming, or cycling. For people who prefer strength training, weights can be replaced with resistance exercises or a lower-weight-higher-repetition version of an existing workout.
A positive mindset is also important and a modified workout can be looked at as an opportunity to try out new exercises. Naturally, any exercises first should be advised by a doctor to assure overall safety during a post-surgery recovery period.
Even with modifications, surgery recovery can limit activities when compared to what an active patient normally would do during their workout routine. This is why associated daily behavior patterns (diet and rest) are an important part of staying in shape while recovering.
When recovering a diet can be modified to be lower in fat, lower in calories, have more raw foods as a part of it, or make use of entirely new recipes. Also sleep should be consistent and at least 7 or 8 hours nightly as sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain and can slow surgery recovery as well.
Mental health should not be ignored. One key reason people stop working out or staying fit is because they become disillusioned or depressed about their current situation in life.
When recovering from surgery it is very easy for a person to feel upset about their current day-to-day situation as they recover. This is why staying mentally active is important. There are several ways to do this. A person can engage in hobbies they enjoy, visit friends, or give their time to help a charity or cause they feel strongly about.
By keeping active, a person stays in a mentally-healthy place which gives them the drive needed to continue working out as they recover.
Consult a Physical Therapist
One key area with post-surgery workouts is constructing an effective workout program while being limited in what exercises can be done. A physical therapist can help construct an exercise program that fits a patient’s physical limits, is safe, and at the same time a healthy workout.
Before instructing on a workout plan, a physical therapist will review a patient’s medical records and note any physical limitations or recovering injuries they may currently have. By doing so, each workout plan can be customized to fit the needs of each patient.
Aside from the workout program itself, a physical therapist can explain proper workout form which allows a person to protect any muscles, bones, or joints that are healing. Proper form is a combination of movements, posture, and muscle group isolation. An improperly performed work out is less effective and can cause injury. A physical therapist can also help with new techniques that a patient may be unaware of that can improve the effectiveness of their workouts.
In many cases after surgery, it is entirely possible to stay in shape and stay physically active. After their doctor informs a patient of any physical limitations one of the best things they can do is consult a physical therapist.
When a patient needs post-surgery assistance to aid in their recovery, Multi-Care Medical’s offices in Pembroke Pines, Naples, Cape Coral, and Fort Myers can help. With years of experience our licensed professionals can aid in physical recovery and fitness following a surgical procedure.