Do you have to be able to run a marathon or work out in a gym to improve your outcomes after surgery? No!!

woman strolling on street

Just by increasing the amount of activity you already do, by adding a walking program to your daily activities, or taking a gentle exercise class (there are free classes offered at Briarwood Mall) can significantly improve your heart and lungs. Additionally, exercising will help to control high blood pressure and high blood sugars, if you have these.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults participate in 30 minutes of activity at least 3 days a week. The 30 minutes can be divided into 10-minute increments 3 times a day; you don't have to do all 30 minutes at once. To optimize your health you should participate in 30 minutes of activity every day. You can find more information on types of exercise and activity from the CDC.

If you can walk, we have provided you with a pedometer, so that you can keep track of how many steps you take in a day. 2,000 steps is the equivalent of 1 mile. Wherever you start out, the general rule of thumb is to increase your steps by 300-500 each week. See the table for pedometer goals based upon your current steps per day.

Another way you can increase your steps is to walk longer. If you are walking for 15 minutes a day, increase it to 20 minutes. Remember, this doesn't have to be 20 minutes all at once. It can be two 10-minute walks. Increase your time every day or two until you get up to 30 minutes a day.

Some ways to increase your steps include parking further away from the store entrance, taking an extra walk around the block after dinner, making extra trips into all of the rooms in your home. All of these steps can add up to less time in the hospital, fewer complications, faster healing, and a much happier you!

If you are currently doing other things for your activity such as swimming, biking, etc. don't give these up, keep doing them.

If you cannot tolerate a walking program, we can set you up with a program that will still improve your fitness level and help to decrease your risk for complications after your surgery. We have experts who will work with you on a program based on your current physical capabilities.