Posted by Heart Hugger on Aug 9, 2017 12:02:00 PM
Exercise is not always easy and it's not always fun, but it's good for us, so we try to do it. However, exercise after surgery is an entirely different challenge -- and an extremely worthy challenge at that. Here's a peek at the world of cardiac post-op exercise.
Caring For Your Body Post-Op
After heart surgery, the responsibility of taking care of your body is magnified. Everything you did to stay healthy before is now even more important -- like watching what you eat, getting good sleep, and, of course, exercising.
To be fair, though, "exercise" is probably far from the first thing you want to think about after surgery; however, exercise is a crucial part of the recovery process. What's the solution? Well, personalized post-op exercises are a good option.
Personalized post-op exercises are suggested by your healthcare team, and, most importantly, these exercises are individualized to fit your needs and your goals. This means that you can get moving, but at your own pace -- and that is a big part of the recovery process.
So, what are some examples of post-op exercises that can be personalized by your healthcare team? How do they speed the recovery process? Here's a quick look!
- Exercise aid. Before you get started on any post-op exercises, your healthcare team will likely recommend some tips to keep you safe and comfortable while you move. Respiratory Splinting is a big part of this. With a Respiratory Splinting device, you can feel free to get moving.
- Breathing and coughing. At first glance, breathing and coughing don't seem like exercises--but after surgery, both of these everyday actions can seem like a lot of work. Start with a slow, deep breath, holding for about two seconds, and then exhale with a firm cough. Often, placing a pillow over your incision during this cough will limit discomfort. These exercises can be personalized to meet your needs and goals, making them strong tools for recovery.
- Walking. Walking has amazing power; it can speed the recovery process in more ways than one. Introducing a slow, short walk into your daily schedule and gradually increasing speed and duration based on your goals can help your heart, your lungs, your circulation, and your overall health.
- Foot exercises. Your body is meant to move; when you're resting after surgery, you're not moving much, and this can be a problem. In order to minimize the risk of blood clots, it's a good idea to do some "foot exercises"--movements to get the blood pumping. Push your toes toward the footboard of your bed, relax your feet, pull your toes toward the headboard, relax both feet, and repeat. In addition, make circles with your ankles while bending one knee and then the other.
Interested in more post-op exercise tips? Looking for information about Respiratory Splinting? Contact us today!