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If you are expecting to have surgery and know you are going to be down for a while you may be wondering what is the point of continuing your workout routine when it’s all going to go to waste after you have surgery. You are just going to lose all those gains anyway so what is the point of putting yourself through all that pain when you will probably just going to have to start from the beginning after you recover? I totally get your frustration and understand where you are coming from because I get that way too sometimes but giving up a month before you have to will only make it even harder during your recovery so when you are able to start again it’s much harder than it would of been. I am not trying that hard to make gains before surgery because I know I will lose a lot of them but I have not given up just yet since I know it’s not pointless and the stronger you are before surgery the easier your recovery will be. If you are having surgery and don’t see why you should continue to exercise here are some reasons why I think it’s important.

Transfer are a whole lot easier- When you are abled not being able to put a lot of weight on one leg is usually an issue because you can hope around but when you have Spina Bifida usually it’s more of a challenge. A lot of us can’t walk at all and if you can your stability is not even close to what it would be for an abled person so if we have surgery where you can’t put weight on one leg it’s going to totally take you out for the count. I walk with crutches which I can usually do fine with but not if part of my body is not totally up to speed and when that happens transfers are a two-person job. My mom helps with getting me dressed or showering if I am unable to do that unassisted which I am usually not at least for the first couple of weeks and my dad with the strong man finds a way to carry me in the house when I get home from the hospital if I am unable to walk in by myself. Strength training can help make the job of your caregivers a lot easier because if you can’t lift your own bodyweight it’s going to be a problem and they will have to do more heavy lifting. Without my caregivers, I could never have surgery because I wouldn’t even be able to go to the bathroom by myself and it’s one thing if your a child and not that heavy but something totally different when you’re a grown woman so think about that next time you make things harder for your caregivers unnessarily. Transfers are harder for disabled people than they are for abled people so don’t make it harder on yourself by not doing everything you can to improve your strength.

It may help you recover faster– It is a proven fact that people who exercise consistently have stronger immune systems than those who don’t because exercise boosts your metabolism so you have a stronger immune system which is what you want going into a major surgery. When you have a strong immune system it can help you recover faster than those who don’t exercise because when you don’t your metabolism is much slower so it harder to fight off sickness than it would be for someone who does it regularly. It’s not to say that everyone who exercise’s will have fast recoveries and everyone who doesn’t will have slow one’s but it can never hurt to take care of your health and boost your immune system in the best way you can because it will naturally weaken after surgery from all the stuff they give you at the hospital and there is nothing worse than dealing with all this extra pain while also getting the common cold!

You’ll have less pain– Exercise can help you manage pain but if you are having surgery and exercise does keep it controlled it can be a problem. Whenever I have surgery I usually have more issues with migraines and headaches than I do surgery pain because most of my surgeries you can’t surgeries for several weeks which for me is not a good thing. There is are other ways I can manage my headaches or migraines but it my experience it’s not nearly as effective as a good Pilates session. If your able to exercise it’s important you don’t stop even if seems pointless because the last thing you want is to go in the day of surgery with high pain levels that is elevating your rate enough that your doctor thinks you have another issue and won’t do it. Take control of your pain and exercise of for less pain if it helps and don’t stop until you have to because there is nothing worse than having surgery pain and terrible aches and pains on top of that which you could have avoided.

I can totally get the feeling of not wanting to exercise or seeing the point of but it’s not totally pointless. You are only going to get weaker the longer you are on bed rest and know you won’t be able to move for a while it’s extremely important to improve your physical health in the best way you can. The more active you are prior to surgery the faster you will be able to recover from it and get back to doing things that you love. I know it can be stressful to see your fitness go especially if you have been working really hard on trying to improve it. It’s important to remember that it may takes some time but nothing is lost forever and you can always get your fitness back. Focus on getting better and try and not think about all the progress you have lost because unless you make no efforts to get it back when you recover then nothing is permanent. There are a lot of things about having surgery that are stressful but after it’s all done you will feel much better and be glad you did it! Do you think exercise is important before medical procedures?


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