No matter what kind of surgery you are recovering from, you are probably starting to think (worry!) about maintaining your fabulous results. Will your new figure last? What can you do enhance it? Can working out after surgery actually help you heal faster? In fact, many people have contributed to the conversation on the best post-surgery workouts. Here are some of the highlights.
Keep in mind that not all of these exercises will be appropriate for every patient. Please make sure to consult your doctor to find out which are safe for your type of surgery.
Cardio: Good for the Body, Good for the Mind
Regular cardio aerobic exercise can boost your energy levels, reduce anxiety, and help you sleep better, all of which increase healing power. When you are fresh out of surgery, just some simple walking is recommended. It decreases your chances of complications and aides the recovery process. After that, you can graduate to low impact water exercises like water aerobics or gentle swimming. If you enjoy the outdoors, hiking an easy trail (with lots of water and good sunscreen, sunglasses, and a visor) can be an enjoyable way to get your cardio in.
Here are some examples of how many calories youâll burn for some typical bariatric workouts:
Strength Training: Work Your Lean Muscle Mass
Strength training builds muscle, and muscle is magic! It keeps your metabolism moving at its strongest, which helps you burn calories. Weight training also keeps your bones strong and healthy. With strong bones and muscles, you can be more active and enjoy your life. When you start weight training, take it easy at first. Choose 1 to 5 pound weights, then gradually choose heavier weights until you can do 3 three sets of 15-20 reps easily. If you feel any pain, stop immediately and try a different exercise. Lunges and squats are also good for strength training and do not require any equipment. Neither do sit-ups, crunches, and other core exercises, which tone and shape the body and prevent future injuries.
Flexibility: Lengthening and Protecting
Flexibility training is important for so many reasons. In conjunction with the rest of your workout, it will lengthen your muscles, warm them up, and thus help protect you from injury. You can do some basic, mild stretching before your workout to warm up, but remember not to push it too far because your muscles will be cold and can strain easily. After the workout, when you are feeling sore or tight, stretching is also helpful to release tension and relax tired muscles.
When you are stretching, take each stretch slowly and hold it for ten seconds, making sure not to bounce to avoid injury. It can be good to feel a slight burn, but pull back if you feel any sharp pain.
Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs
Make sure you are warming up and cooling down before and after all your post-surgery workouts. Warm up to get your heart pumping at a gentle pace and loosen muscles, which prevents injuries. Your warm-up should take approximately 5-10 minutes and can include light stretching, light jogging or walking, or jumping jacks. Keep it simple.
After your workout, make sure to spend 5-10 minutes cooling down to slowly reset your heart rate and breathing back to normal, which prevents dizziness. Working out also causes a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, which can be bad for them and cause soreness and stiffness the next day. Walking and stretching help your body get rid of the lactic acid. Aim to gradually bring your body back from exercise pace to resting pace.
Bonus: Restorative Yoga
Some forms of yoga can be very strenuous and are not appropriate for post-surgical patients. But there is one form which seems almost specially designed for them, and that is restorative yoga. Restorative yoga focuses on resting poses using props such as pillows, bolsters, blankets, and blocks to facilitate relaxation. You may lie on the ground with your legs up the wall or twist on your side hugging a bolster in a specific way. This form of yoga initiates our parasympathetic nervous system, which is the ârest and restoreâ aspect of the autonomic nervous system that stimulates the bodyâs processes for restoration and recovery, including sleep and tissue repair. In fact, research suggests that restorative yoga can actually decrease healing time. Weather you have tried yoga before or not, this can be an excellent, gentle way to get your body moving after your surgery.
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