Getting Back into the Routine

Get Fit with Kim

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EXERCISE: Getting back into exercise after injury, surgery, illness, or just time off can be difficult. How long it’s been since you exercised last will determine how quick you bounce back. Whether it’s been a couple of weeks or a couple of months, take it slow! If you try to do the same routine or workouts that you had been doing prior to your break, you will be too sore to get good workouts consistently throughout the entire week. You will end up only being able to exercise a couple of times because of soreness.  By making exercises less intense and/or shortening the workouts, you will be able to exercise multiple times during the week gaining “cumulative” benefits from those workouts.  Focus on doing more moderate workouts more often for a quicker “bounce back.”

NUTRITION: Rest is essential for recovery. However, this doesn’t mean lying around and eating ice cream milkshakes all day! There are some nutritional strategies I want to share with you that will help you or a family member get through the difficult recovery process following a surgery where air/gas must be used in surgeries as with some hernia repairs.

NOTE: This is not the same nutrition/diet advice I would give someone who had any other surgery that did NOT require pumping their abdomen full of air/gas/whatever. Also, this is advice for an otherwise healthy individual without dietary restrictions (like diabetes – blood sugar concerns…). If you have any questions about how to recover with diabetes issues… contact me directly.

Because there is already so much gas/air putting pressure on the digestive organs (abdomen area), the last thing you want to do is eat a lot of fibrous foods. Stick with the “forbidden” white foods like potatoes, crackers, white pasta, bread…. These foods (eaten in moderation of course) are less likely to cause bloating and more gas than their whole grain counterparts. Combine these foods with a protein like chicken along with some starchier veggies and fruits like carrots and oranges. The protein and little fiber in the starchier fruits and veggies will help sustain blood sugar levels.  Homemade chicken noodle soup is perfect because it’s not only easily digestible but also very hydrating. Constipation is typically an issue because of the pain medication and lack of physical activity. So, staying well hydrated is very beneficial for regulating bowels quickly after surgery.  Plus, the fluid will help flush the anesthesia from your body quicker.

Carbonated beverages may seem like a good idea, but they will just add to the pressure since they too can cause bloating in the digestive tract. Stick with water, tea, hot tea… and you will feel better quicker.

Nuts and greens are also off the list – at least in the first 2-4 days – until the most of the “gas” from surgery is passed.  You can get back to your more nutritious diet in a few short days after the pressure from the surgery subsides. Add the more fibrous fruits (apples, pears…), veggies (greens, beans, peppers….), nuts, and grains (whole grainy breads, oats, rice/pasta….) very slowly to minimize discomfort and gas.

Remember, your body is detoxing and healing. You are not as active as usual, so you don’t need to eat quite as much food – just make sure it’s good quality.

Hopefully, this will help you or someone you know get through the painful first stages after this type of surgery much quicker.

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