If you’ve been inactive following surgery or been recovering from an illness you might feel apprehensive about starting to exercise again. It’s important to listen to your doctor and make sure you are fully recovered but once you’ve had the all clear from your healthcare practitioner it’s time to start thinking about building up your fitness again.
Returning to normal physical activities after a long period of inactivity is really important for your recovery- your muscles will naturally be weaker, and you will feel much less fit than before so you need to build your strength and fitness back.
Listen to your body
Following illness or surgery it’s important to listen to your body. You might be eager to get back to your normal activities but even after your doctor has given you the all clear you still need to remember to rest and recover. Start off slowly - walking is a great way to start getting fit again and help your body heal. Over time you can gradually increase the intensity and time spent exercising. If you enjoy walking you could join a group (check out Ramblers for local walking groups) to keep you motivated.
Make Positive Changes
Whether you have had a joint replacement, heart attack/heart surgery, illness such as Covid or other respiratory illness, you should think about what changes you can make to your lifestyle to help aid recovery and support your body.
As you get fitter and stronger you can start to add to your exercise routine- strength training is important to help build muscle and improve cardiovascular health. If you want to protect your body and help prevent further injury then you should add strength training to your routine alongside cardio training such as walking, running, swimming or cycling. Joining a fitness class is a great idea to help keep you accountable with the added bonus of being lots of fun and a great way to meet new friends. After being stuck inside following illness or surgery it’s common to feel isolated so joining a class is a great way to improve mental health too. Move It or Lose It is a great class for people who have mobility issues and can be carried out seated if necessary.
Personal Coaching and One-One Sessions
If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of joining a class but you still need the motivation and help you might like to try one-to-one sessions with a personal trainer. Your personal trainer will be able to tailor the session to your abilities and needs making it a great option if you are recovering from surgery or illness. Just make sure you have the all clear from your healthcare professional and be sure to tell your personal trainer what you are recovering from, how you are feeling - physically and mentally and what your fitness goals are.
If you have been given the all clear by your doctor and are looking to get back into exercise following surgery or illness but you're unsure where to start, contact Amanda.
Research by Sport England shows significant reduction in physical activity among the older (75+) population since the pandemic began. In fact, their data suggests up to 49% of the over 75’s are inactive.
This is a worrying trend given how important exercise is for our physical and mental well-being, especially as we age.
How our bodies change as we age:
How exercise benefits the ageing body:
There can be no doubt that exercising in a group is one of the best ways to enjoy more exercise:
It’s never too late to make a positive change to your lifestyle, starting out slowly with a daily walk and some gentle strength exercises can make a big difference to your mobility and strength. Joining a class such as Move it or Lose It is a great way to get into regular exercise without putting unnecessary pressure on your body.
As with all exercise it’s important you check with your doctor before starting anything new, especially if you haven’t exercised in a long while.
It’s starting to warm up, the days are getting longer- Spring is finally here! The onset of spring often fills us with a bit of hope and motivation and it’s a great time to change up your exercise regime. You can take advantage of milder weather and take your exercise routine outside and get all the benefits of what that has to offer. Fresh air and sunshine for an added boost of vitamin D combined with a bit of cardio or strength training can really lift your mood and give you an extra dose of endorphins. But, let's face it, British weather is changeable so if the weather is bad, don’t be put off, move your activity indoors!
Exercise for Well-Being
The benefits of regular exercise, whether a daily brisk walk or more structured regime, are vast. Research shows how just 10 minutes of brisk activity boosts mental alertness, mood and energy levels.
The end of dark mornings and the onset of longer days gives us more opportunity to spend time doing physical activities. If you work during the day , the extra daylight in the morning or evening means you have a bit more time to get active. A quick walk before breakfast or a workout before your evening meal will do you the world of good, physically and mentally. As the weather improves one of the easiest ways to increase your amount of physical activity is walking. Try adding a daily walk to your normal routine, whether that’s walking to work, the local shop or something more substantial like meeting up with your local rambling group.
Join a Class
If you’re stuck in a bit of a rut and need a bit of motivation you could try joining a class. There are lots of options and most will be tailored to your individual fitness level/ability. Being part of a group activity is fantastic for accountability and meeting new people. It also pushes you to try harder than you might if you are just plodding along on your own.
Classes can often be held outside when the weather permits, especially classes such as Bootcamp which involve a broad range of exercises.
Use it or Lose it!
This saying couldn’t be more true, if you want to live an active and full life you need to keep moving. Loss of muscle tone, flexibility and cardio health can have serious implications in later life so it’s important to stay active. Don’t be put off if you are less mobile or find exercise difficult, there are classes specifically aimed at less mobile individuals , such as Move it Or Lose It. These classes are made up of exercises that can be carried out seated or standing and aim to help with daily activities such as climbing the stairs.
Enjoy the longer days and (hopefully) milder weather and get active!
What exercises do you like to do when the weather warms up?