Post-surgery recovery requires considerable care and caution, but it doesn’t mean having to sit still. In fact, staying active can significantly support the healing process and help you recover faster as long as you take the right precautions.
From enhancing your recovery process to supporting improved morale, exercising after surgery offers many benefits and can be an excellent supplement to your rehabilitation plan. That said, it’s important to remember some necessary tips to make the most of this exercise and ensure a smooth path to recovery.
Benefits of Staying Active After Surgery
When performed carefully, exercise can support the natural healing process while providing a boost to your physical and mental health.
Some of the benefits of exercising after surgery include that it:
- Promotes blood flow to your muscles, supporting healing
- Helps promote a more positive mindset and mood
- Promotes mobility and range of motion in your muscles and joints
- Reduces your risk of re-injury following surgery
- Supports a faster recovery
Jumping into activity too intensely or too quickly can run the risk of injury and diminish the potential benefits. It’s important to be careful when returning to activity so you can realize the full potential of getting back into motion.
How To Stay Active After Surgery
Staying active after surgery will leave you better off, but it’s important to do so responsibly to maximize the benefits and avoid any risks. To find the right balance between enhancing your healing process and overdoing it, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Always Consult with Your Doctor
Everyone is different, so each recovery plan may have its own nuance. The only person who can provide advice tailored to your specific condition is your doctor.
Your doctor will offer guidance on your recovery timeline and when you can begin to work out again, as well as which exercises or activities may be best for your case. Consulting with your doctor will ensure that you don’t rush back into activity too soon or engage in movements that stress your recovery area.
2. Choose the Right Exercises
Exercising after surgery can be a great way to boost your recovery, but that doesn’t mean you should jump into just any activity. Using exercise as a recovery strategy relies on choosing activities that best complement your needs.
Allow for controlled movements and low-impact exercises that do not put too much strain on your recovery area and don’t require high levels of intensity to complete.
Some of the best exercises after surgery include:
- Walking – Walking is a gentle and achievable form of exercise for most, even post-surgery. Start with short walks to slowly build up your strength and ability.
- Stretching – Being more sedentary during recovery can tense up your muscles, but stretching can keep them loose and help prevent injury when you do start activity again. Be sure to avoid stretching areas recovering from surgery.
- Yoga/Pilates – Yoga and Pilates are low-impact exercises that promote flexibility and strength through controlled movements and holding designated positions.
- Cycling – Cycling is a low-impact exercise that helps get the blood flowing and promotes mobility. It’s best to cycle on a stationary bike so that you can keep the movement controlled and adjust the level of resistance based on how you feel.
- Swimming – Swimming gives gentle resistance and works all your muscles without high impact or extreme stress on your joints.
These options can be great ways to get active again after surgery. Still, not all of these options apply to every patient depending on the type of surgery. Consult your doctor or a physical therapist before restarting an exercise routine to determine which exercises are best for you and your case.
Most importantly, be sure to choose a form of exercise you enjoy. Choosing an activity that is fun for you will ensure that you can stick to it and keep it a consistent part of your routine.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
Regardless of your established exercise plan, account for plenty of sleep and rest in your recovery routine. Rest is a crucial supplement to any exercise routine, so it’s especially important when ramping up activity following surgery.
Sleep is a necessary part of the recovery process, as it allows your body time to repair and rebuild damaged tissue. Good sleep will also help promote more energy and a more positive mood throughout the day, helping you stay active.
Sleeping after surgery can be challenging, so be sure to take steps to establish a healthy sleep routine and optimize your sleep environment.
4. Start Slow
The importance of easing back into exercise can’t be emphasized enough. It can be easy to want to jump into immediate forms of exercise, especially if you had an active lifestyle before your surgery. However, avoid rushing back into activity and give your body time to adapt to increased movement after surgery.
It’s also important to listen to your body carefully as you begin exercising again. If you feel any pain or discomfort during an activity, put a pause on it. Pushing through pain can increase your risk of injury and interfere with your recovery.
Some discomfort may be natural as you start reworking your muscles and joints again after a long period. Still, it’s not worth the risk to guess whether the pain is natural or a sign of concern. Talk to your doctor about any pain you experience so that you can stay on track for recovery.
Stay Fit and Recover Faster from Your Surgery
Exercise is a helpful tool post-surgery, allowing you to get your blood flowing and boost your recovery. By choosing the right exercises and easing into a careful routine, you can maximize the benefits of activity in healing. Always stay in touch with your doctor throughout the process to make sure you are on the right track.
The Joint Replacement Center of Scottsdale ensures you have the support and guidance you need for a smooth recovery. Dr. Theodore Firestone, Dr. Shane Martin, and our team of highly experienced professionals are here to support you. With over 16,000 successful procedures under our belts, we are prepared to help you navigate the process comfortably.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team. We are happy to discuss the surgical process and how you can use exercise to return to your normal routine.