Keeping an active lifestyle is good for your health. If you are normally an active person it is important to keep that up before your procedure to maintain your fitness.
All exercise and activity provides health benefits. If you’re not regularly active, start slowly and gently and build up from there, aiming for 150 minutes of exercise (2.5 hours) each week.
People with low activity levels can improve their fitness levels within as little as 4 weeks. This gives you an opportunity to get fitter before your procedure and improve your chances of a better and quicker recovery. The more you exercise and move your body regularly, the more fit you will be. With better fitness levels you can:
- help to reduce complications during your procedure
- reduce length of hospital stay
- recover more quickly and return to your normal quality of life more quickly
Here are some top ways you can keep up your fitness levels through exercise and increased movement:
Keep moving when you’re at home:
- Don’t sit down in front of the computer or television for long periods of time without moving. Sitting still for long stretches makes your muscles tighten up and your circulation slow down.
- Break up your time spent being inactive by walking around your home or standing up from your chair and doing simple stretches during TV advert breaks or when you’re on the phone.
- Stretch out your arms and legs while you wait for the kettle to boil, holding onto the bench if you need support. Lifting light weights, such as a tin of beans or the milk carton, can help increase blood flow to your muscles too.
- There are many activities you could do at home, such as walking up and down stairs, dancing, gardening, housework, or taking part in online fitness classes. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something you enjoy and keeps you moving.
- Download this gentle exercise booklet which contains safe exercises anyone can do at home whilst they wait for their procedure.
- For ideas and videos to keep active at home visit activenorfolk.org/active-at-home
- Search for online fitness classes and face-to-face fitness classes in the Waveney area at https://www.activesuffolk.org/activities
Find outdoor activities
Getting outside for exercise in the fresh air is invigorating and can help to reduce anxiety and improve your overall mental health.
Exercising with a friend or in a larger group setting like an exercise class or sports club can provide a supportive and enjoyable experience and bring many social benefits too.
- A brisk walk during the day can do wonders for your health. Make a date with a friend, neighbour, or family member to walk regularly throughout the week.
- If you’re looking for ideas of good places to walk, the Active Norfolk Active Outdoors page has ideas and links to information sources such as Trails networks and Woodlands finder.
- Find your nearest parkrun. These weekly 5K walking and running events take place every Saturday morning in locations across the county. It’s not a race, it’s a community exercise opportunity where everyone goes at their own pace. Friendly and welcoming environment, they also offer volunteering opportunities, too.
As with any exercise, speak to your GP or consultant before you start any new activity to make sure it’s appropriate and safe for your condition.
Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel comfortable and trust your instincts about your own limits. Stop if you are feeling any pain or lightheaded and make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.