Having a surgical procedure done on your foot or ankle can be a scary thing. You can read more about staying relaxed and anxiety free before surgery here. Sometimes the biggest worry is what will happen after surgery, and how long until you can resume your regular daily activities again. Although every surgery merits a different recovery time, there are still things that you can do to stay active and keep your body moving so that you don’t feel so sluggish.
Strength Training: Just because you aren’t able to use your feet for a few weeks doesn’t mean your arms, back and shoulders can’t get a good work out. Grab a pair of dumbbells (or water bottles) and do some bicep curls, shoulder presses, and over the head tricep extensions.
Drink Water & Eat Healthy: Not being able to move at the pace you did before your surgery doesn’t mean you should lay on the couch all day and each junk food. Eating healthy is even more important when you aren’t able to exercise like you did before surgery. Drink lots of water and make sure to snack on healthy items such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers and low fat dairy products.
Ab Work: Since that foot or ankle usually needs to be elevated for part of the day after surgery, why not make the most of that time and work your abs. Try different ab exercises and see which ones work best for you and your foot.
Swimming: Although this might not work for everyone (if you have a cast), it is a great option for a few weeks out after surgery when you just have a boot and are closing in on the recovery period. Swimming is a great workout and puts no pressure on your foot or ankle.
Stretching: Stretching is always important, but especially after you have surgery and are more prone to tight muscles. Don’t overdo it, but try stretching your legs as best as you can on a daily basis.
Remember to always consult your podiatrist before doing any of the above exercises after surgery. All procedures are different and some might require more risk than others. Also, make sure to follow your podiatrist’s guidelines for after surgery care if you want to recover as quickly (and complication free) as possible. Dr. Evan Merrill and his staff at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, LLC are ready to help you with all your foot care needs, Make an appointment today by calling 541-776-3338 or by filling out our online form.