1. Get enough sleep
Make sure you get at least 7 hours sleep per night leading up to your surgery. This is not only good for your body but it also puts you in a healthy mental state. Be sure you are sleeping in total darkness. This increases the release of Melatonin which is a powerful antioxidant that not only increases sleep quality but also has cancer fighting properties.
Whether it’s 30 minutes of high intensity interval training or just a brisk walk every morning, it should be enough to make you stronger. Being at your fittest has been proven to increase the quality of your recovery as well as reducing recovery time. Exercise will stabilise your blood pressure, strengthen your heart and reduce the amount of unhealthy fat you are carrying – All very important factors when recovering from surgery.
3. Quit smoking
Put that cigarette down for 4 weeks leading up to your surgery and 4 weeks after. Nicotine in cigarette smoke increases your heart rate and blood pressure, in turn causing your heart to work harder and require more oxygen to function. Not to mention that the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke competes with the oxygen in your blood, and when it comes to surgery, the more oxygen the better! The chemicals in cigarette smoke make your blood thicker, stickier and more likely to clot — not what we want during surgery or recovery.
4. Limit your alcohol
This is actually a controversial topic. Some surgeons say to completely quit the drink 2 weeks leading up to surgery, whilst others say 1–2 drinks per night is fine. According to Marie Eliasen of the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, people who have more than 2 drinks per day leading up to surgery are twice as likely to suffer complications post surgery.
5. Eat well
Your body needs to repair itself and as the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Make sure you are eating healthy lean sources of protein as your body uses this to create healthy muscle tissue. Not only that but the Omega-3 found in oily fish such as Tuna or Salmon also aids in fast recovery. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals which we need in abundance during the recovery phase. These nutrients can help boost the immune system and allow for a faster recovery. Going easy on the salt and sugar pre-surgery is also a great idea! Salt can increase liquid retention and potentially cause swelling while sugar can increase the body’s blood glucose fasting levels and make it difficult for your immune system to work properly.
6. Drink plenty of water
In the weeks leading up to your surgery it is important to be well hydrated. Being hydrated increases your blood volume and makes it so much easier for your heart to pump blood through out your body and get the much needed oxygen to your cells. Similar to how nicotine can make your blood thicker and harder to pump, so can dehydration.
7. Be careful of which vitamins and medications you’re taking
Certain medications such as Aspirin or anti-inflammatories can thin your blood increasing your chances of bleeding and slowing the healing process. If you are taking any medication or vitamins leading up to your surgery it is advised you speak with your doctor or surgeon about the risks.
8. Don’t eat or drink anything at least 12 hours before surgery
This is because when you’re under anaesthetic, your body’s reflexes are temporarily stopped. If your stomach has food and drink in it, there’s a risk of vomiting or regurgitation. Best not to risk it! 🙂
The main takeaway here is that being in the best physical and mental health you can be in prior to surgery is only going to reduce recovery time and get you back on the beach showing off that new bod x