Exercise affects your recovery after a major illness or medical procedure.
But can you bounce right back into a fitness routine?
The recovery phase after a major illness is crucial in getting back your health and life back on track. The secret to a fast recovery is actually regular exercise together with enough rest.
VISITING A PHYSIOTHERAPIST
The first step involves visits to a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist is someone who has received specialist training in helping people who have just recovered from major illnesses or surgeries.
For example, stroke patients are often referred to a physiotherapist after their condition is stabilised, to assist them in regaining mobility of the stroke-affected area. It is during this phase that the physiotherapist will schedule individually customised exercises that help the patient regain full mobility. This phase usually lasts for a few weeks at least.
GET HELP FROM A FITNESS TRAINER
The next step after physiotherapy would be a visit to a fitness trainer. By this time, significant mobility should already be regained after sessions with a physiotherapist. But, due to the illness and a long period of inactivity, your muscles and body may not be capable of handling a typical exercise program at your local gym. This is where fitness trainers come in, by providing specific fitness plans to help in your recovery phase.
But what’s more important would be the relationships that fitness trainers establish with their clients. This helps trainers to go beyond physical training, by also providing mental support and emotional encouragement to help shorten their recuperation period.
KEEPING FIT, LISTENING TO YOUR BODY
Sometimes, during this phase, a fitness trainer will encounter individuals who have not undergone any physiotherapy at the hospital.
In such a case, the individual may not be accustomed to exercising at a slower pace and may push themselves too far or or too hard. Before the commencement of any exercise, it is always very important to listen to your body. For example, you should take care to avoid specific areas of the body where surgery was done and work on other muscle groups of the body instead.
In addition, there are some special guidelines you should follow to ensure an optimal recovery.
EXERCISING AT HOME
If traveling to the gym while recuperating is hard on you, you’ll be glad to know that the trainer can always come to your home instead.
REHABILITATION FOR THE ELDERLY
A significant portion of people who need to get fit after an illness are the elderly. If you don’t have the deep pockets for a home gym or a personal fitness trainer, there are comprehensive rehabilitative care for the elderly, in addition to daycare services, all under one roof. This includes the treatment of physical injuries, diseases and dysfunctions through rehabilitative equipment.
Other services include structured exercises like resistance training, for older folks who have undergone bone and soft tissue injuries, debilitating illnesses or surgery, and exercises to improve the mobility of joints and keep muscles flexible.
Keep in mind that everyone heals at different speeds.
Understand your body and never rush into strenuous exercise if your body isn't ready yet. Remember to also set realistic goals.
No matter how difficult it gets, a little progress at a time definitely goes a long way.
Just as Dory says, "just keep swimming"!