Once I had gotten my drains out, finished my tissue expander fills, and my incisions had healed, I couldn’t WAIT to get back to exercising. I’d become really consistent in working out with Recovery on Water, and I missed my team, working hard, and feeling fit. But where was I supposed to start? How do you go from doing pretty much nothing for 8 weeks, to vigorous exercising multiple days a week?
Answer: You go slowly. You listen to your body. You give yourself grace.
I always tell my patients that it’s so easy to lose muscle and lose strength, but it’s really hard to gain it back. That’s especially true after surgery. You will get there again, and it may take time, but you will get there.
Set some goals for yourself, and then break those goals down into bite sized pieces. Maybe your goal is to be able to do a push-up again – break that down into things like modified planks on your knees and elbows, the scapular push-ups from our PREHAB program, and the bird-dogs from the REBUILD program. Work on these smaller moves, and as you get stronger you can progress towards that goal.
Every little bit counts. Maybe you can only do 5 minutes at a time – THAT’S OKAY. You’ve gotta start somewhere.
Check out the REBUILD program for some exercises you can do at home! These are also great exercises to do while stuck at home in quarantine – no gym equipment needed.
Disclaimer: You should always consult with your medical team before attempting any of these exercises or any new exercise activity in general. Particularly if you just had surgery, make sure you are cleared by your medical team before trying any new activities or exercises. These exercises are designed as general advice/knowledge, not specific treatment. These are exercises that have worked for us (myself, Paige, and Joslynn), but every body is different, so make sure you listen to yours! What works for me may not work for you. A good Physical Therapist is a valuable tool if you need more specific guidance and treatment – you can find a PT in your area using the APTA or AAOMPT websites.