5 Post Surgery Exercises to Help You Get Back to Normal


Regular exercises after surgery is essential as it helps you get back to normal gradually. Your orthopedic surgeon gives you a schedule on when to start, the number of times you’ll exercise, and when to stop.

The type of exercise you can undertake depends on the surgery you’ve undergone. While exercising is essential, engaging your physical therapist or surgeon for these activities will ensure you’re doing the right thing. Below are some of the exercises they may suggest in your program.

Easy Walking

If you were exercising before the surgery, you could be missing the routine and get tempted to work extra hard. You’ll hurt your muscles or even the wound yet to heal completely. Easy walking is best, even if you have a broken rib. Better still, walking acts as an all-around fitness exercise.

Start with a moderate pace of below 30 minutes for a few days before proceeding to at least 40% of your previous speed and effort, then to full swing running. While at it, listen to how your body responds and don’t ignore pain.

Gentle Stretches

These stretches are simple and can be done from your hospital bed as the surgeon observes you. They range from shoulder rotation, wrist, and ankle movement. Besides stretching the muscles and allowing blood to flow freely, they also help in surgery healing.

You may also do slow wall squats (if you can stand), heel slides, abdominal contraction, and ankle pumps. All these allow your muscles to stretch and contract, which improves blood flow.

Gentle stretches are best for bedridden patients as they are simple to execute. They are also okay with almost all surgeries since the movement doesn’t involve the whole body.

Yoga Exercises

Although healing after surgery takes time, you need to be constantly exercising. That is making the slightest movement of your body parts to keep them lubricated. When thinking of low-impact exercises, think of yoga, although it depends on the surgery you had.

Yoga is simple yet has an unimaginable impact on your muscles and joints. You can enroll in starters’ yoga classes or practice by yourself at home to ease the pain and fasten the healing process. Taking charge of your recovery journey after surgery will help you heal faster, says Dr. Quinn, a top plastic surgeon.

You may also try swimming, a form of therapy considered a low-impact exercise with high impact yields. If you were a swimmer before the surgery, don’t go jumping into the water because you feel healed. Depending on where you had the surgery, consult your surgeon on the right time to get back to the water. This is because the stitched part can be affected by water if not completely healed.

However, if you can swim, start on the shallow end and don’t use too much force. You may add speed and effort after feeling better.


Running is a high-impact exercise that yields a high impact. Before you embark on running, especially if you had legs surgery, it’s good to consult your physical therapist or surgeon for a schedule and go ahead.

Since running involves the whole body, try to start at a low pace as if jogging while listening to how your body responds, then add speed as you proceed. It’s best to do it many times but for shorter periods.


Biking involves the movement of your ribs, which allows good exercise. When biking, your muscles stretch and relax, which makes this exercise best for surgery recovery. Start at low speed and effort and increase as the body allows.

You may use a standard bike, stationary gym bike, or a treadmill. The bottom line is that your muscles are moving.


Healing after surgery may take time, depending on which part of the body is affected and the healing procedures in place. Thus don’t panic! One of the fast healing remedies is being active and conscious of the surgery recovery process.

Talk with your surgeon about the best schedule and safe time to start exercising to help you hasten recovery. Besides, simple exercises improve blood flow which fuels the muscles allowing them to regain motion energy.

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