Resuming Exercise After Surgery

Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor before commencing any exercise program, particularly if you have been through surgery. This post consists of my personal experiences only; it is important for each and every person to choose what is best for their own life circumstances and health, after seeking professional medical advice. I wish you all the very best for your fitness and wellness journey!

Background 


I recently came across the fitness diary I had written out when I was starting to exercise again after undergoing surgery in 2013. I had a c-section; it hadn’t been planned, but 9 hours into labor it was discovered that baby was breech and so into the operating theatre I went…


Starting Up Exercise Six Weeks After Surgery


I did some very gentle stretching and walking prior to my six week check-up. I had been told that all types of births require a six week recovery period anyway, regardless of whether surgery was performed or not, although I’m sure this recovery time varies from individual to individual. The most important thing of all was of course that baby and I were both healthy and happy and all was going to be okay.


My Fitness Diary for the First Month 


After being advised at my six week check-up that I could now commence all forms of exercise (yoga, cardio, etc) I started fresh on a Monday: a new beginning! I did lots of walking and went to four yoga classes that week; one on each day from Monday through to Thursday, and then on Friday through to Sunday I used very light weights from home and also did some light stretching from home (and when I say light weights I mean super light: 0.5kg and 1kg to begin with for some biceps and triceps resistance training, etc). 

The second week (starting Monday) I again did yoga classes from Monday-Thursday plus lots of walking. I also did 10 minutes on the exercise bike on both Thursday and Friday, and tried some more light weights on Friday as well. I took Saturday as a rest day, and then on Sunday went for my very first run since before I was pregnant! Slowly running around the park was hard work; I could really feel all that my body had been through over the past ten months or so: pregnancy, labor, c-section surgery, and nursing and breastfeeding a baby. I persevered with a nice slow run as well as some squats, lunges, and stretches. 


The third week I cut down to two yoga classes, did 15 minutes on the exercise bike, light weights, and walking. I took Wednesday and Saturday as rest days, and then on Sunday did 11 minutes on the exercise bike again and some more light weights. 


The fourth week I went to two yoga classes and did lots of walking. The week after that was Thanksgiving, so I got caught up in the preparations and stopped writing my fitness diary at that time. (Keeping a fitness diary has, in general, been something that I’ve done on and off for many years now. I find it helps to keep me accountable and motivated, and I can see my progress, as well as keeping track of my goals, fitness routine, and schedule).


Making Progress


Fast forward more than a year now and baby is almost eighteen months old. I had never pieced together a photo diary showing my own personal progress with my health and fitness before, but looking through the photos now I can see all of the hard work, i.e. the recent schedule I have had exercising up to six days a week has really paid off. It is easy to feel disheartened or disillusioned sometimes when the progress is not happening as fast as I would like (I’m still quite a slow runner and I can start to feel tired pretty quickly); even yesterday I was feeling a little impatient with my progress, but, in the big scheme of things, fitting my fitness program into my day-to-day routine and making it a big part of my lifestyle has been the best thing because the exercise has become a habit and I miss it if I don’t do it now. It has become a huge part of everyday life!


My Photo Diary

 

Above: Only one week to go before baby’s arrival into the world!


Above: Still loving my yoga classes – this was two days before baby arrived.

 

 
Above: Newborn! 6 days old (I was still very sore and swollen after surgery, but Day Six was certainly the first of many turning points in my recovery).

 

Above: Three months old – The end of 2013.
 

 

Above: Another year later – The end of 2014. Happy with my progress!

My Current Fitness Timetable
 
I would say I am currently exercising more than I ever have in the past. I make sure to take one or two rest days each week, and I fill my days with running, walking, yoga, kick boxing, and weight lifting. It helps keep me energized and gives me the stamina that is much-needed looking after a one year old!
 
See you next time, 


Bridget @ Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme x

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