As you may have read I had a umbilical hernia repair in March. This is something I have been putting off for a while, as I knew it would put me out for a fair while. This included no lifting (nightmare with a toddler) and no running (boo) for 6 weeks and a slow gradual recovery. You can read more about my hernia experience here ‘Why I’m putting my feet up’
When I reached 3 weeks post op I was keen to investigate what exercise I was capable of, I was getting itchy feet! So I contacted my gym instructor who booked me in for an appointment. I wasn’t referred for any physio and the general advice from the consultant was basically don’t do anything for 6 weeks, so I was unsure what I could do. When I met my gym instructor (who is amazing) she said my fitness rehabilitation would be similar to anyone recovering after a c-section, so this post may be of interest to those who have recently had a c-section and are interested in getting back in to exercise.
I must say at this point that this post is not professional advice but my story of what I am doing to regain my fitness post op. Please always seek advice from your GP and a qualified fitness instructor who has experience of this sort of recovery, like I have. I’m lucky my gym instructor is very experienced and knows what she’s talking about, I couldn’t have done any of this without her.
My gym instructor is planning different gym programmes for weeks 3-6 and 6 weeks plus. As the weeks post op progress I will be given more challenging exercises to do and my work out intensity will be increased slowly. Eventually I will be stronger enough to return to running, which I am very keen to do! On top of my hernia repair, I got runners knee after my last 10k so I have to be sensible about what I do and not rush in to anything that will cause long term damage. So no 10k’s for a while and my 2016 half marathon goal is delayed for now. One step at a time…! (Excuse the pun!)
What I definitely can’t do
The exercises that are strictly not allowed until the 6 week post op point are;
- running (treadmill or road/trail)
- lifting heavy weights
- The plank
- Sit ups (no abs at all)
- high intensity aerobics
- Anything where your having to use your tummy muscles basically!
What I can do
I was surprised about how much I actually could do at the end of week 3. I really surprised myself as I hadn’t done any exercise for nearly 4 weeks! Everything is low level and slower than I’m used to, but I have to start light and work myself up to where I was before. It will take time and patience.
My Fitness Plan for weeks 3-6 post op:
Number if sessions per week: 2-3
Level: Levels on all machines were set as low, generally somewhere between level 2-4 and set on a ‘random’ setting.
Workout length: Approx 50 mins
- Mobility exercises to warm up for a couple of mins, including gentle jogging on the spot, circling arms and rolling shoulders
- 10 minutes warm up on the bike
- Tricep dips (3 X sets of 10 using a bench)
- Knee lifts (3 X sets of 10 or less depending)
- 10 minutes on the stepper
- 10 minutes on the cross trainer
- 5 minutes cool down on the treadmill (fast walking pace)
- stretches as normal (I always spend at least 10 minutes stretching)
As usual I’m finding it difficult to fit all the sessions in, but feel I’ve made a good start! I can run soon too which will be great! It will be lovely being able to run in the evenings during the summer and I can slowly build my distance up again.
Id be interested to hear about others experiences of exercising post op – do let me know how you got on and what advice you have!
Looking forward to getting these babies on again…