Post-Hysterectomy Fitness & Wellness
SHARING IS CARING
Make Healthy Choices
Now that you have your surgery behind you and you are anticipating a healthier life, now is the best time to make additional choices in your lifestyle that will mean "Wellness" for you.
Choose Wellness After Hysterectomy
Imagine you are on a journey with a backpack strapped on your shoulder. With each step you pick up additional stuff and add it, without thinking, to your pack and to your pockets. A few years into the walk, you may stop and realize you have taken on an additional 50 pounds of "stuff" - not only in weight but in circumstances that trip and tangle your legs.
Now is the time to take the backpack down from your shoulders, open up the pack and take a good look at what is inside. Are you carrying unneccessary things that don't belong to you? Are you dragging around weight that only weighs you down? Are you carrying old pain or new aches?
Many women discover while recovering from their hysterectomy that they want to make big changes in their lives that typically include getting their health in order. This is choosing wellness.
Choosing the Best
Explore and educate yourself on any unhealthy habit you have added to your life that is better left behind. Are you a smoker? Are you leading a sedatary life without much exercise? Are you drinking more alcohol than you should? Are you relying on pain meds without the regular input and assistance from a pain medical professional?
Determine what you need to surround yourself with resources to take the first step for a positive outcome.
Choose your path. Choose the best.
Steps to Action
Typically the first place to start in your course of action towards wellness is with an appointment with your family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor who specializes in wellness, find one. Ask your friends and family for recommendations.
Take a list of symptoms you are experiencing including specific examples of your concerns. Example: I'm a smoker and I'm ready to give it up. Can you help me? Example: I think I'm using too many pain medications and I'd like to explore if there is a root cause of my pain so I can get off/cut back on my pain medications.
Your doctor should give you a complete check-up including taking a sample of blood, weighing you, checking your blood pressure, checking cholesterol, doing a bone density test, and more. Typically, with the results of your tests, the doctor will provide you with your first step towards wellness.
If you find any health challenge to be too much, talk it over with your doctor and family and friends. Gather a support group around you. Ask for their help. You will find that with the support of those who care for you, you will be encouraged to choose wellness and stick with it.
The Basics of Weight Loss
Let's face it. If you are post-hysterectomy and you are feeling pudgy, you may wonder if the changes in your body from your surgery has affected the ability to lose weight.
Although there may be some issues in weight loss from hormone levels which require extra effort, the basic plan to lose weight remains the same.
It's no mystery:
Burn more calories than you eat and you will lose weight. And, although it sounds simple, we all know that if this is a struggle for you, the discipline of eating less and exercising more can produce disappointment and frustration.
Make small changes to your day and you will lose those extra pounds. Consider it a life-style change to eat healthier, less caloric foods and increase your activity. You will find success in the long run!
To lose one pound of fat, you must burn approximately 3500 calories over and above what you already consume during your daily activities. 3500 calories is a lot! However with a combination of increased exercise and a reduction in calories, you can lose that one pound of fat over the course of a week - which translates into 4 pounds in a month, 8 pounds in two months, 12 pounds in three months.
You won't see the fast loss that you may admire on "Biggest Loser" but you will find that the adjustment to your new eating lifestyle is easier in baby steps.
Find out how many calories you eat by tracking your food consumption, writing down what you eat and drink each day. Be accurate!
Calculate activity level:
Use a calorie calculate to determine how many calories you burn when you are sitting, walking, standing, exercising, throughout your day.
Calculate your BMR (basal metabolic rate):
Your BMR is what your body needs to maintain normal functions. This is the minimum number of calories you need to eat each day.
Now do the math:
Take your BMR number, add your activity calories and subtract your food calories from the total. If you are eating more than you are burning, you will gain weight. If you are burning more than you eat, you will lose weight.
Make a plan:
Go to the grocery store and select healthy food, low in calories to replace the higher calorie foods of the fast food restaurants and processed foods. Keeping your kitchen stocked and ready to eat makes it easier to make food choices to eat "this" instead of "that". Eat smaller portions.
Park across the parking lot and walk further. Take the stairs. During commercials during your favorite television show, instead of fast-forwarding, get up, stretch, do some jumping jacks, walk in place or squat to the floor. Add a 30 minute walk to your day.
Exercise for Fun
We are more likely to pick up a habit that is good for us if we enjoy it. Here is a list of some exercises that many of the HysterSisters considers FUN!
Jazzercise Worth shopping around for a fabulous instructor. They're generally all pretty good, but the great ones make the class just fly by!
Scottish Country Dance Vigorous but you do get lots of breaks between action so it's not hugely aerobic. Gives us great calves!
Contra dance American folk dance that involves walking to the music but leaves you breathless. It's very flirtatious, which is also fun!
Bicycle riding Make sure the seat is comfy. Do this in a class called "Cycling" or in the neighborhood near your house.
Rollerblading It's not just for kids! Find a pair that fits and a smooth sidewalk and skate away!
Ballroom Dance Lessons We've all enjoyed watching "Dancing With the Stars". Here is your chance to learn something new while you get great exercise.
Country Line Dancing Lots of dancing choices. This one is particularly fun if you enjoy country music.
Aerobic Kickbox Check out the local gym for classes.
Cardio Ball Another one that is typically available in a gym or on DVD
Hiking What can be better than hiking in gorgeous landscapes?
Swimming If you are laying on a float with a beverage in one hand and a book in the other, you are not exercising. Get off the lounge chair and flop around in the water. It's called swimming and can be a lot of fun!
Gardening It may not be aerobic, but if you've ever spent the morning pulling weeds or planting bulbs, you will agree this is great exercise.
Belly Dancing You didn't think we would forget this one. Another favorite for those who like to dance and like to wiggle at the same time. Add bells and sequins and you might giggle through it all.
Be sure and take a friend with you while you exercise. Anytime you have a friend with you, any exercise can be fun!
From the Forums
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Fitness and Wellness Resources
Check out these resources to help you on your journey to wellness.. Don't forget our best resource - our Fitness discussion forum where thousands of HysterSisters participate daily! AND - Don't forget to ask your doctor for additional resources.
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