You just had a hysterectomy, and you're wondering what the best way to recover is. Take it easy, right? Wrong! Walking after having a hysterectomy can help you lose weight faster than if you didn't walk at all and may actually speed up your recovery.
This article will discuss the 5 benefits of walking after surgery that may surprise you (and yes, weight loss is one of them).
Walking after a hysterectomy can actually help with recovery
When we think about recovering from a major surgery like a hysterectomy, we automatically think that laying around and resting is the best option, but this is completely backwards. Walking after a hysterectomy can actually help with recovery.
In one study that researchers did on the subject, participants who walked after their surgery had shorter hospital stays and were less likely to experience postoperative complications than those who didn't walk at all.
They also had lower fatigue levels and decreased depression symptoms for up to one year following the operation than non-walkers.
Keeping your body used to physical activity such as walking will help you recover more quickly and speed up your return to normal life.
Walking can reduce the physical decline associated with hysterectomy recovery
A hysterectomy is major surgery. It involves removing the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries (this is in a full hysterectomy; a partial hysterectomy may only include the uterus and one or more of these being surgically removed).
It's not uncommon for patients to experience a decline in their physical abilities following recovery due to the surgery and hormonal fluctuations that can lead to weight gain or loss, most often on the gain side.
Women who are not as active and don't walk after surgery are found to be more likely to lose muscle mass and report being much weaker, even at a year out from surgery.
The good news is that walking after having had a hysterectomy could help you maintain your current level of fitness.
Just by getting up and walking around, you are giving your body what it needs to stay in shape.
Walking can help improve bowel function and reduce bloating and gas pain after a hysterectomy
A hysterectomy often comes with some pretty negative effects during recovery, such as reduced bowel function, bloating and gas pain.
One of the benefits of walking after having a hysterectomy is that it can help improve digestion, reduce discomfort during elimination, and help to reduce the gas and bloating associated with it.
Studies show that people who walk regularly are more likely to have normal levels of bowel activity than those who don't exercise at all or only do light workouts like yoga or stretching.
Walking for just 30 minutes per day could lead to significant improvements in bowel function in both pre-menopausal women and menopause/post-hysterectomy patients within six months.
Walking after a hysterectomy can help you lose weight
Many of us associate weight loss with heavy cardio or weight lifting, but walking is a great way to lose weight after a hysterectomy.
A recent study showed that walking 30 minutes per day, five days a week for six months, could lead to significant weight loss in women who had undergone a hysterectomy.
The best part of utilizing walking as a weight loss strategy is that it comes with a low risk of injury. Walking offers the perfect balance of exercise and rest, so it's great for those that have recovered enough to venture outside while being very low impact.
Walking after a hysterectomy can increase your mood, give you more energy, and make you feel better about yourself
Sunshine and fresh air are two of the best things you can give yourself when you're recovering from a procedure, and they can also be found when you go for a walk.
Research has shown that walking outdoors is not only good for your physical health but also helps improve moods and reduce stress levels in women who have had to undergo the emotionally draining experience of having a hysterectomy.
Frequent exercisers are also less likely to suffer from depression than people who don't exercise at all, so even if you haven't been exercising regularly before now, do yourself a favour and go for a walk after your surgery.
I have to admit that before my surgery, I had been so caught up with work and being busy that I hadn't set aside time for myself in the best way as far as exercise was concerned.
Now, however, it's one of the things I look forward most to during my day. As someone who had walked out of her house feeling lethargic or even depressed only to come back later significantly more upbeat and energized than when she left, this is really something you should try!
Even if you are still a bit sore, getting out for a walk is one of the best things you can do for yourself after surgery: if you can get yourself outdoors at least once every few days or so, the chances are that you'll see some noticeable improvements in your mood and energy.
Tips on how to start walking after a hysterectomy (don't hurt yourself!)
- Making sure to carry your medicine with you while walking helps keep a close eye on pain levels.
- Stop walking immediately if you feel intense pain or are completely exhausted
- Whenever you walk, make sure it’s always on a flat surface and avoid hills to reduce your risk of falling
- Wearing fitted and well-cushioned shoes is a good idea when you start walking again.
- Walking is a great way to get exercise, but many people fall victim to the repetitive treadmill walking mistake. If you want weight loss benefits or want to avoid feeling bored, try outdoors instead.
- Consider wearing a good support garment like a compression shirt or binder to keep your abdominal area secure while walking
- Regular walks are just as beneficial as long walks for weight loss.
- Hysterectomy recovery may vary, and you might need to adapt your routine as you recover.
- Adjust your speed and frequency of walking depending on how you feel. If you experience discomfort while walking, take a break and modify your routines next time
- When you start walking again after having your hysterectomy, try not to compare your progress with other people.
- Slowly increase your walking when you begin healing according to what feels comfortable for you.
- Alternate walking with frequent rest periods while you recover
- Walking can help you lose weight and stay active after having a hysterectomy. However, talk to your surgeon about any specific concerns that might arise.
Final thoughts on the benefits of walking after a hysterectomy
A hysterectomy is a life-changing, emotional experience for many women, and weight gain is a real concern. Walking can not only help you lose weight but can also improve your mood and give you energy.
Remember to take it easy on yourself at first, but as you recover, give walking a chance. You'll be surprised at what it can do for you.