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Coming back after surgery

What is the appropriate timeframe to start an exercise program after you have surgery? This isn't a straightforward answer. The answer depends on:

  1. What surgery you had.

  2. How good of shape you were in going into surgery.

  3. What your doctor tells you.

  4. What your physical therapist tells you.

  5. What your body tells you.

  6. What your "inner voice" tells you.

  7. How you are progressing.

  8. What type of exercise you want to begin.

  9. How well you know your body.

  10. Do you know how to ease back into exercise? Can you modify any move?

Having had two surgeries in the past two months, these are the questions I needed to ask myself as I began to ease back into exercise. The most important thing you need to do is talk to your doctor/PT about resuming your regular routine. Make sure that whoever you are talking to really knows you. I've had surgeons who've had no idea what I do and have given me the green light only to have my PT shut me down hard! It's nice having a healthcare professional really know you and how you move. I've been going to the same PT for 8 years now. I'm there A LOT. He has worked on every part of my body. He knows how stubborn I am, how my body moves and how quickly I heal. He knows what to say to me and how to get me to listen.

When it comes to recovery, you really need to rest and be smart. I'm saying this from experience. Nobody knows this better than me. Rushing back after surgery is stupid. It only adds time to your recovery. You have to listen to your body, I mean really listen. Take the time to heal. If you have ants in your pants, ask your doctor or PT what you can do. Give them a list, even one thing is better than nothing at all. If the answer is nothing, you have to accept that. Meditate, work on cleaning up your nutrition, try new recipes, practice self care. Keep yourself occupied so that when you are ready to go back to your routine you do it with a sound mind and positive attitude.

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