When is the best time to start exercising after a surgery?

Slowing down with the fitness routine can be really challenging for many after undergoing any kind of surgery. It is almost frustrating to take the necessary break from a workout routine in order to completely heal. But, taking that time off means a faster and better recovery and it is also a way to avoid complications.

Rest is greatly important while you are healing from a traumatic experience for the body, as is the physical activity. Moreover, workout improves circulation, which is vital to fast and proper recovery, regulates levels of the stress, keeps you optimistic, and eliminates possible depression from being physically restricted.

Before you get back to your routine after surgery you should, by all means, listen to your doctor. This is because your body may not be able to do the exercises it could before you went under the knife without inducing damage or delaying your healing process. Therefore, regular visits to your doctor’s’ office are the best way to ensure you know when you can resume certain activities.

Generally speaking, the most appropriate time for you to start/continue with exercises is 7 days up to 8 weeks after the operation, depending on the surgery you underwent.

ACL surgery recovery

If you had an anterior cruciate ligament injury (a knee injury), which is a considerably common injury and often requires reconstructive surgery, you would want to get your life back fast. In order to accomplish that, you can do certain exercises that will help you recover harmlessly and swiftly.

A couple of exercises you can do to fully unbend the knee joint after a week from surgery should include: on the floor hamstring and calf stretches with soft support behind the knee, placing lightweight on your thigh while on your back with your ankle reinforced, and sitting in a chair and putting your leg up on another while you slowly straighten the knee.

After abdominal surgery exercises

Staying positive and having realistic expectations for yourself after a surgery is an important part of your healing. However, rushing your recovery by getting too physical before your body heals completely is an expedited way to get back to that operation table with complications.

Nevertheless, when it comes to recovering after abdominal surgery failing to exercise could lead to a hernia. Exercises you can do not very long after the surgery are short distance walking, ankle pumps, easy core exercise for the glutes and lower back. There is also a head lift exercise which you can do after about 10 to 14 days post-surgery. Of course, you should consult with your doctor for the final call on what you are ready for and when.

Exercise after a body reconstruction

When it comes to healing after a plastic surgery there are different guidelines regarding the time you should ease back to exercising. Leading plastic surgeons advise that you should rest up to two, or even six weeks, depending on the procedure. Therefore, if you had a liposuction for example, the speed of your recovery depends on the amount of fat removed and the number of treated areas

If you had a breast reconstruction, in many cases, your surgeon may recommend gentle stretching exercises, like shoulder rolls or arm circles two or three days after surgery.

Until you have your surgeon’s green light, avoid demanding exercises such as drill aerobics, swimming, or weightlifting.

Starting back slowly after caesarean section

As a general rule, women that gave birth via caesarean section must wait six or eight weeks before easing back into the fitness routine. The thing is, if you overwork yourself to lose that baby fat right from the beginning, you can extent your recovery.

However, this does not mean you should be on hold during that period. A nice long walk can be a good start to get back on the horse. After you feel you are strong enough for more demanding exercises, try Pilates or yoga or just continue with your prenatal workout routine. But, before you do anything you must have a doctor’s release.

Take your time to get back to your routine

The common rule of healing after a surgery is to rest and refresh. You should not speed up your results as it takes time and a lot of endurance as you move through the healing stages. Get plenty of sleep and acquire good habits for those restore both body and mind.

In addition, add to your to-do list “be lazy and do nothing”, because it is perfectly fine to indulge yourself after an invasive operation.

Written by Valentin Bosioc

Valentin Bosioc - wellness specialist, certified personal trainer, certified fitness instructor, celebrity trainer, Musclemania Champion, Ninja Warrior Semifinalist, world wide motivator!

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