Exercise Tips for Post Colon Cancer Surgery

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Tips on getting an adequate workout without straining your recovering body

Exercise Tips for Post Colon Cancer SurgeryThough regular exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, finding an appropriate workout routine after undergoing colon surgery or treatment for colon cancer in Los Angeles can be tricky. Patients generally benefit from regular exercise while recovering, but it is important to engage in light activities that reduce your chances of straining tender abdominal tissues. As a general rule, consult your colorectal surgeon before engaging in any kind of post-surgery activity, but here are some tips on working out after colon surgery and why it can be a significant help in staying healthy and cancer-free.

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Walk Before You Run

One of the simplest activities to engage in following colon surgery is just to stand and walk. You will likely be supine for several days after surgery, and though you should stay put if recommended to by your doctor, simply getting a few steps in and stretching your legs will help you retain some level of physical activity during the recovery phase. If this proves to be difficult, the support of a cane or walker may be necessary during this initial period.

After a few weeks, ask your doctor if you’re ready to resume regular activity. Typically, patients can engage in running, jogging or some other kind of aerobic activity about four to eight weeks after abdominal surgery. Exercise is especially important for patients of colorectal cancer, as any form of regular exercise can help to reduce your risk for cancerous growth and studies have shown that exercise can reduce the mortality risk of patients with colorectal cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity nearly every day of the week. If you’re unsure about what kinds of exercises will be safe to engage in after surgery, consult your doctor.

No Strength Training, No Sit-ups

Tips for exercise after surgery for colon cancer in Los Angeles

Heavy lifting of any kind is unwise following colon surgery, so remember to avoid lifting anything that requires you to use both hands. Obviously, this also means you will need to wait to resume any kind of strength training or weight lifting until your doctor has given you the go-ahead. Sit-ups can also be problematic after surgery, as they can damage the tender tissues that were affected during the operation. However, just sitting up in your bed may help, even just a few days after surgery, to avoid lying prostrate for prolonged periods of time.

After undergoing colon surgery, it is vital to take things slowly. Exercise is important, but jumping back into strenuous activity too quickly can be detrimental to your health post-surgery. Be sure to direct any questions about any physical activity to your doctor before jumping into it.

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