Exercise – Be Active

Being in good shape and maintaining a healthy weight plays an important role in your day-to-day living.  It can also play an important role in your recovery following surgery.

Your body will be under stress from the surgery, and you will have to limit activity following surgery.  Therefore, ensuring you’re in good shape prior to surgery is one of the keys to making your surgery a success.

Exercising before surgery can help improve your endurance and strengthen muscles so they can help you recover mobility and strength more quickly following surgery.  You may also need extra upper body strength after surgery to help you use crutches to get around.

Following surgery you will need to exercise to help you recover.  You may want to practice and become familiar with the exercises your doctor or physiotherapist recommends.

Exercise can also help you lose weight if recommended by your doctor prior to surgery.

Walking is one of the healthiest activities you can choose to help you maintain and gain physical mobility.  A brisk walk for 30 minutes on four to seven days a week is ideal.  If you can’t walk for 30 minutes at a time, try walking 3 times a day for 10 minutes at a time.

Bicycling is an adaptable, cardiovascular and strength-building exercise you can do at your own pace.  Consider riding a bike around your neighbourhood streets, or riding a stationary bike at home or in the gym.

Swimming is an endurance activity that is good for your heart, lungs, circulation and muscles.  You might also want to try water exercise, a gentle type of exercise that doesn’t stress and strain joints.  Water exercise uses the resistance of the water to achieve a good workout.

Strengthening exercises can be done at home or in the gym and will help you build strength in your muscles.  Following surgery strengthening exercises will be prescribed by your physiotherapist to help you to increase flexibility and range of motion.  Follow your physiotherapist’s advice about how to safely perform strengthening exercises following surgery.

Being active is very safe for most people.  If you have not been regularly active, speak to your family doctor before starting an exercise program.  Once you know what exercises you can do, speak to your physiotherapist, check your local community centre, the YMCA, or a local gym for programs to help you stay in shape and maintain a healthy weight.