Even for personal trainer Betty, rest after surgery is necessary
Today marks three weeks since the removal of my pituitary tumour.
While I am feeling well and able, I have been warned that returning back to my weight training schedule must be done carefully or there could be quite a few complications.
As an active individual, the word rest is truly not in my vocabulary. However, mindful of the advice I’ve been given, I try and stick to the following:
1. Follow your doctor's orders
One of the recovery recommendations from my doctors is that I am not allowed to lift anything over 5lbs for the next six weeks. Sometimes we want to ignore our surgeons, our nutritionists or our physical therapists – don’t do it. They are instructing us to bring out our best. They desire to fix our bodies. So even if you feel ready to run, skip, jump or hop, follow the instructions that you’ve been given. If you are still feeling like you need to do more, talk with them to see if increasing your post-operative activity is an option for you.
Planning is the best thing you can do pre and post surgery. Prepare a well thought-out plan on how you will navigate your recovery with work and home duties. For my recovery plan, I decided to return to my clients slowly and advise them on my restrictions. Over time, as you heal, you may have to make a couple adjustments to your plan here and there but it’s very important to have one. Arrange your plan with approved activities which will help to avoid the frustration of feeling like you are not doing enough daily.
3. Improve your diet
When you have the ability to be active, you can get away somewhat with a less than perfect diet. However when you are forced to be more sedentary, focusing on your nutrition will help keep you in shape. Meals filled with fresh vegetables, fruit and lean protein will give your body the necessary roughage to prevent constipation, boost your immune system and heal your skin, nerves and bone. If you need assistance, find a nutritionist that works for you.
4. Stay positive
Some people enjoy the idea of doing nothing for a few weeks. However for people like myself who are used to being active not being able to exercise can leave us feeling upset and anxious and unhappy with our bodies. Don’t let recovery get you down. You have to give your body time to heal. Eating right, as mentioned above, will also help you maintain your weight. Stay positive. This recovery session is just a temporary setback. It will not last for ever. If you are really feeling depressed reach out to a doctor who can help.
Lastly, be patient. This is truly the most challenging for me. This will be the longest period that I have been unable to exercise that I can remember however I know it will be worth it in the end. Wishing anyone who is going through the same the best with your surgery and recovery!
Listen to your doctors and B-Active For Life!
Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook