If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to undergo any type of surgery. For the vast majority of people however, surgery is bound to happen at some point. If you’re a fitness junkie, it’s inevitable that your doctor and surgeon will advise against any type of exercise or intensive physical activity until the healing process is complete. If you’re not sure what types of exercises or activities to avoid, let’s take a look at the top 3 exercise categories you should stay away from after a surgery. We’ll also throw in some safe suggestions that you may be able to do.
Depending on the surgery, very light stretching is typically permitted but anything that requires an extensive amount of stretching may do more harm than good. For example, jumping into a yoga class following surgery would be a very bad choice. Yoga twists, turns, and stretches the entire body and while this is beneficial on a normal day, it can be problematic post-surgery. Extensive stretching may cause stitches to tear or wounds to open.
Leg Day, Ab Day, Arms Day: There is a day for every type of body part training. If you get surgery in a specific area, then there’s no doubt that target muscle is off limits. The best example would be getting an appendectomy, or a removal of the appendix. The entry point for the surgery is where? You guessed it: your stomach. The last thing you’d want to do is a set of sit-ups or crunches. Talk with your doctor about which site specific exercises are okay following a surgery. For example, if you get surgery on your left leg, you may still be allowed to perform upper body workouts.
This category can apply to direct and indirect impact on your body. For example, if you’re a boxer, you clearly would not want to engage in sparring, a direct impact exercise, after surgery. You can also experience high impact indirectly such as through plyometrics. You aren’t being hit and you aren’t throwing your body into any contact training; however, plyometrics relies heavily on jumping and fast-paced movements. Also called jump training, plyometric-based movements can easily agitate a surgical wound.
Which Exercises Are Okay?
Again, this will vary from person to person but, in general, very low impact and non-strenuous exercises will be permitted. For example, taking short walks may be an ideal form of exercise. Using site specific machines may also be permitted. For example, you have surgery on your leg but you perform Preacher Curls on an appropriate machine. It’s important to talk with your doctor to find out which exercises are safe and effective after a surgery.
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