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Getting back to fitness following Surgery

November 11, 2013 3 min read

Your doctor says, "you can resume your usual activity in 5-8 weeks"  If it were that simple, I would be thrilled! In the 5.5 weeks since my Mommy Makeover (Fleur De Lis tummy tuck with breast augmentation), I've gained 6.6 pounds and lost muscle, tone, flexibility and much more!  Today I took my measurements, pictures, downloaded my 14 day nutrition guide and downloaded My Fitness Pal to track my calorie intake. Am I ready to go and HIIT it like I was able to 6 weeks ago?  No!  Easing into your fitness routine is VITAL!  Muscles atrophy so quickly when not used. Steps you and I can use to get back to where we were or want to be are
  • stretching daily.  Maybe ever 2 hours bend from your waist and touch your toes, if possible
  • walk daily.  Increase the duration and speed daily
  • lift.  Start out light and increase
  • repetition.  Add more reps either daily or several times per week.
  • Mentally prepare.  As much physical determination, comes mental focus and determination.
  • Understand your body needs time to recover.  Treat your body with love and positive self talk
  • Reward yourself weekly or monthly for sticking to your goals
  • If the scale isn't your friend, try measuring instead.  You WILL see results that way.
Real dangers But trying to speed your recovery can be dangerous, too. “Say you had a surgery where you were repairing something,” he says. “You have a lot of blood vessels in that area. The tissue gets altered. Any time you do an exercise where you get your heart rate up, more blood is going to that area. One of the consequences is that it may produce more swelling, more scarring.” Just as frightening is the potential for infection if you’re sweating and the wound gets dirty, he says. “If someone has surgery and stitches, don’t get your heart rate up high for four or five days,” he says. “Let the tissue heal some.” Most important, ask your doctor, and listen to the answer. “You have to be specific,” he says. “If the doctor says, ‘I want you to rest for two weeks,’ ask what that means. ‘Does that mean I can’t go for a slow walk? Does it mean I can’t go light on the exercise bike or do light resistance training?’” A stationary bike is often a go-to recommendation for Borowski, who tailors clients’ workouts based on what their doctors advise. “It’s nonimpact in general, so you’re not getting a pounding like when you’re running,” he says. “You’re still using quads and hamstrings. It’s just a little different.” Modifying workouts Pilates instructor Marilyn Levitt will work with injured clients only after they have a doctor’s release. Often, they come to her to learn how to modify their workouts while they heal. “Engaging in different types of exercise is so important,” says Levitt, owner of Core Pilates Dallas. “It’s tough being told you can’t run for a while. But that time could be used to strengthen other areas of the body. “You can always do something else,” she says. “People who want to will find something they can do.” Advises Blueitt: “There’s usually always something you can do to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up so you don’t have such a tough time recovering. You get better results after surgery if you can get that person moving again, but you want to make sure they’re not doing things to affect the area that needs rest.” He uses as an example Mohs surgery, which is a layer-by-layer removal of a skin cancer often followed by a skin graft. “I’d ask if you can go for a nice, slow walk,” Blueitt says. “Things we try to avoid are running. What if you slipped and fell? You messed up a skin graft. But walking gets the blood flowing, or light resistance training with dumbbells in the house.”  LESLIE BARKER   Tomorrow 11/11/13 is my first day back with Bodyrock.tv/Daily HIIT.  Last week I started easing my body into light workouts, so I can modify these amazing exercises here. I'm officially starting Lisa's 30 day program, of course they will be modified.  

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