Exercising After Surgery: Everything You Need To Know

By | April 5, 2019

For those of us that are fans of exercise, having to put the brakes on our routine for surgery can be frustrating. Depending on the surgery you’ve had, you could be off your feet for anything from a few days to a few months, with recommendations to avoid any ‘strenuous’ activity while you recover. Whether you’ve had expert breast implant procedures in Istanbul or abdominal surgery at your local hospital, understanding how to get back to your routine after any treatment is important. Here’s what you need to know:

It Depends On The Surgery

The time at which you can get back on that treadmill ultimately depends on the surgery that you had in the first place. Generally, most follow the ‘above the neck’ rule, in which they will only consider going back to exercise if the symptoms – or in this case surgery – are above the neck. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, not least include surgery on the brain. For abdominal surgery, it can depend on whether the procedure was keyhole or required full access.

If your stitches are still healing, it may be worth leaving the exercise until you’re in the clear. Sweating and dirt can lead to infection, which can make the recovery period much longer. The increased blood flow from surgery can also lead to swelling, more prominent scarring and more.

Take It Slow

Regardless of whether you feel ready or not, you need to make sure that you’re taking things slow. You can’t launch straight back into your routine, so reduce it. If you usually run for half an hour, consider breaking it down to ten minutes, or five if you’re left feeling tired or uncomfortable. You need to listen to your body and adapt the intensity of your usual routines as much as possible, before building it back up slowly as you go.

Modify Your Routine

Another thing you can do to help yourself ease back into exercise is to modify your routine. If your surgery was on your legs, focus on your arms and core for a while. If it was near your chest or shoulders, focus on leg-based exercises or gentler activity to prevent any risk of popping a stitch as you move. Choose a workout alternative that gives the affected area the time to rest and reduce the chance of causing further problems.

Deciding Whether It’s Safe To Work Out

If you’re unsure whether you’re ready to get back to exercising, there are several different things you can take into consideration but the most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. If you start exercising and you feel okay afterwards, you can consider stepping things up slightly the next time you try. If you’re in pain or exhausted, stop and reduce the amount you’re doing for next time. While pushing ourselves to do more may be beneficial when we’re healthy, our bodies are too strained when they’re healing and it’s important to stop and work out just what your body is telling you.

The best thing you can do if you’re unsure whether it’s time to exercise is to speak to your doctor or surgeon and get their advice. They can assess your healing and even give you advice on what kind of activity you can do, or whether you’re best staying away from it for a little longer. You will get back to your routine, so remember not to push yourself too far while you wait.


Women Fitness