In addition to cardiovascular activity it is important to improve muscle strength. A greater proportion of muscle mass will help your recovery. Resistance based exercises are key to increasing muscle mass.
Below are all examples of muscle strengthening exercises:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, feet facing forwards and hands stretched out in front.
Lower yourself by bending your knees as if you were preparing to sit down on a chair. Go down as far as feels comfortable, aiming to get your thighs parallel to the floor. Slowly rise up to the starting position.
Repeat 8 to 10 times.
Remember the larger muscle groups such as the thighs, bottom and legs will show the quickest and largest response to resistance training. These large muscles are used to help you mobilise and the stronger they are before surgery, the sooner you'll be able to get out of bed following your operation.
You may experience muscle ache the day following increasing the work these muscles do, but that is a normal response to exercise and should not discourage you from continuing. In preparation for your surgery it is important for you to carry out repetitions of muscle strengthening exercises between 3 and 5 times a week.
Muscle-strengthening exercises are counted in repetitions and sets. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like a bicep curl or a sit-up. Whereas a set is a group of repetitions.
For each strength exercise, try to do:
During recovery we recommend that you continue to undertake muscle strengthening exercises once you feel comfortable to do so. If you can only attempt a few repetitions at first, aim to gradually increase the amount of strengthening exercises you do during the 4 - 6 weeks after your operation. Muscle strengthening exercises following your surgery will help you mobilise sooner and improve your recovery. For more information on mobilising after surgery please click here
If you feel unwell or experience severe breathlessness or dizziness, please stop, refrain from any further activity, and consult your GP.