How to Stay Healthy After Surgery
Since I'm in the throes of my third foot surgery, I thought I'd share how I'm staying healthy and (somewhat) active. Yes, you can stay active and fit even without being able to put weight on your foot, and in this frustrating time of social distancing and isolation!
Speaking of social distancing, I've basically abandoned my Instagram for security reasons. With more followers meant unfortunately more weirdos and suspicious activity. Privacy for my family had to take priority, but you can still use my blog as a great resource for recipes, health and fitness content and more!
So back to it. Though I was given a surgical shoe after my most recent bunion surgery, I was encouraged to use my own boot if I preferred, as the rocking design takes more weight off the foot. I actually got mine on Amazon; this comfortable one proved much better and longer-lasting that the one I started on with my left foot last year. With the air pump you can really customize it to your foot (and amount of swelling). I finally gave in and purchased this gel pack with an adjustable strap too. It has become priceless to store in the freezer. For any hard-to-hold-on ice area (elbow, wrist, ankle, foot, any spot on a kid, etc) it has proven to be super convenient and priceless. Not to mention it's another Amazon find, this time for under $20 for a 2-pack.
1. Diet. Being less active means you don't need quite the calories though you DO need nutritious foods and please, stay hydrated. Tons of veggies, celery juice, water, beans, nuts, and other healthy sources of protein are key. Try plant-based eating: the less inflammatory foods in your body as you heal, they better! Need a little treat? Opt for one of mine that won't slow down your healing. This super fast gluten-free vegan protein monster cookie is the perfect treat as you heal! The recipe only yields about 2, and takes 15 minutes start to finish.
2. Floor Exercise. There are so many great free floor workout videos on YouTube. Caroline Jordon does great no-impact workouts for injury recovery. Just google "workouts for X injury" and input whatever you are trying to heal from, and voila! I bet you'll find something great.
3. Positive outlook. Harder said than done (especially in this madness of March 2020), staying connected with loved ones through phone calls and FaceTime and face to face when possible is an excellent way of keeping your spirits buoyed. Try to stay positive by visualizing your body healing and focusing on as many positive things in your life as possible. Meditation, visualization and gentle yoga if possible will always help! I absolutely love this journal; it has really helped me through a few tough times and it is only about $10 here.
4. Elevation and icing as much as possible. Again like above: get some gel ice packs (this 2-pack to swap out as they thaw is great) and aim for icing and elevation the injured part (if possible) at least 4-5 times a day for 20 minutes on and off, or as your doctor or physical therapist prescribes.
5. Distractions from pain. Board games, good books, puzzles, podcasts, FaceTime with friends and family and cuddling with a pet (or kids or a partner!) are fun ways to distract yourself. Even your fave dramatic superhero action show can help! (Arrow, anyone? Obsessed. It's on Amazon Prime here or Netflix).
Hopefully my top 5 tips help you have a smoother recovery! It's obvious, but I'm not a doctor. Just somebody with tons of experience (you know, femur fracture, c-section, bunion surgeries 1, 2 and 3...). If I missed something, let me know! If you click the links above, they will take you to the product listed on Amazon. The price is the exact same, but if you shop through the link, I will earn a few pennies, so thanks!
And happy healing. x