A few years after undergoing hip and knee replacement surgeries, Jane Fonda launched an exercise DVD for aging baby boomers. The former lean queen of workout videos is now dedicated to helping herself and others thrive after surgery by making sure they stay active and don't pack on pounds.
That's so smart. According to this year's Global Obesity Meeting, surgeries for everything from heart disease to kidney problems, although necessary and life-changing, can make it tough to maintain a healthy weight. Weight gain often happens because of:
- Being relatively inactive post-surgery, even though we docs want you to walk as much and as soon as possible after most surgeries.
- Side effects of new medications.
- Inflammation caused by trauma to tissues and/or organs,
- Emotional stress triggering water retention as well as worry about how hardy you really are.
- Craving for comfort foods.
Unfortunately, added weight interferes with recovery because it increases inflammation and saps strength, making it harder to get appropriate physical activity. So if you're headed for surgery or have recently undergone it, talk to your doc about what physical activity you should do. Cardio rehab, and physical and occupational therapy post-surgery are essential. They decrease unwanted blood clots and inflammation, and speed recovery. When you complete them, commit to a walking routine and strength-building exercises that you design with your health care provider. Also, adjust your calorie intake to your activity level so that you burn what you eat. Figure that out at Sharecare.com, "How do I know how many calories I need per day?"
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.