If you are about to undergo hysterectomy, you must be wondering what happens to your body after a hysterectomy. When can you start exercising? Returning to your active lifestyle after surgery needs to happen progressively. Moreover, post-hysterectomy recovery is significantly determined by the state of your body’s fitness before the procedure. If you have been exercising regularly or performing physical activities, the chances are, you will recover sooner than someone who never exercises.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about how women can resume exercise safely after having a hysterectomy. In most cases, your surgeon will advise you to stay for at least six weeks without physical activities like running, swimming, yoga, aerobics, or picking up heavy objects. However, if you are an actively fit woman, you’ll have many unanswered questions. For instance:
- What happens to your body after a hysterectomy?
- What if you lift too much after the surgery?
- Can you do abdominal core exercises?
This post will offer some helpful tips on how to get started on your journey to recover faster and minimize the chances of complications.
Hysterectomy recovery exercises
Coughing exercises – They help to clear excess mucus in the lungs. Note that this can be painful when you have a wound in your abdomen, so use a towel or pillow to support the wound as you cough.
Breathing exercises – They help to clear lungs and protect you from lung infections. These exercises should be done when you are sitting up on a chair next to the bed, or when seated on the bed.
Leg exercises – Since it can be difficult to walk around after the surgery, you still need to exercise your legs even when you are lying on the bed. Pull up and straighten your legs alternately. Make sure you move the ankles by stretching and bending them or making circular movements. This exercise improves blood circulation and prevents the development of a blood clot after surgery.
Vigorous workout after hysterectomy
Any exercise that includes stretching, intense abdominal exertion, or putting a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor should be avoided for at least 6-8 weeks after the hysterectomy. Note that this will depend on the kind of surgery you had. Usually, you can resume exercises like Pilates, yoga, swimming, and cycling after six weeks.
Ensure you wait for at least eight weeks to do the following exercises because they will put great strength on your pelvic floor and toss your abdominal contents around:
- Jogging /Running
- Horse riding
- Racquet sports
Beginning any strenuous activities sooner can cause internal injuries and delay the recovery process immensely.
Getting back to normal after hysterectomy should be a gradual process. It may take weeks to improve the mobility, flexibility, and strength of your body parts. So, make sure you start slowly and understand your exercise limitation. Your doctor can advise you accordingly.