Coming back to fitness after surgery

I went through surgery 3 weeks ago, had cancer removed and my thyroid as well.

That leaves an interesting cut on your neck, and you get told that the 1st week after surgery you are not do to any exercises at all.

On the second week, I started feeling itchiness in the scar area, and to do certain movements would hurt. So you loose the gut to do any exercise yet.

On the third week you start feeling good and want to go for it, but then you spend your full time trying to sort out the rest of your treatment.

Today I was finally able to exercise with no pain, or being scared and with doctors approval!
But because you loose fitness very quickly, 3 weeks have made me sedentary, and made me loose quite a bit of muscle.

I have always worked out somehow, which will make it easier for me to return to it, because of cell memory.
But I still have to be careful in the beginning.

It started as a very dis compensated thyroid, hypothyroid. Which makes you gain weight.
I have been a stable weight for quite a few years of 58kg. But suddenly this year I got to weigh 64kg and a bit more.

When we found out, thyroid medication was given and altered in dosage, I dieted and exercised. And yes I started slimming down again, very slowly.
Until I found out a cancer in there, and just 3 months away from my wedding.
So wedding stress plus cancer panic gathered, and no dieting or exercise was required to loose all the remaining weight.

So yes, I´m weighing my normal again. But, the muscles are gone and the resistance is unimaginably low.
So now, I got to build up those too apart from flexibility and all that.

I´m eating normal, healthy but normal. No loose weight dieting. Just exercise.

I had to start by little to try figure out how much my body can take for now.
So I started with a 30 minute light intensity aerobic workout, 10 minutes of slow and careful sit ups, 10 minutes leg strength from my ballet days, and 15 minutes cool stretching.

Yes, I managed! Yes, I´m in pain! But good pain, not scar pain.

Either if you´re starting from scratch or after a surgery, this is a good work out that will make you sweat but will not push you over the limits.

Below I have the video I found for my first work out.

Tomorrow, if I´m not aching too much I will try to go for a walk. No power walk, just a 30 minutes to 1 hour calm walk.

Do you know any good videos online with cool workouts?
Leave me a comment letting me know.

* Don´t forget to ask your doctor what you can and cannot do, each case is different!


  1. I have an underactive thyroid but not cancer. So glad you are recovering from your surgery! I found that the only time I had any energy was when I was low carbing and exercising for around an hour a day ***BUT that is ME*** and that might not work for you. Just be careful and be well soon!

  2. Chalene Johnson (a Beachbody trainer) sometimes posts free workouts on her page.

    BodyRock does free videos, but you might have to go back a ways for ones that don't use equipment and of course monitor the intensity for your ability: Sometimes posts workouts on her blog.

  3. Well done you, for getting rid of the cancer and thyroid. And then jumping back on the fitness wagon. I am so lazy... I try to get fit, manage a good 6 months of regular exercise, see muscle improvement and definition... then I let life get in the way and resort back... and yes it does go very quickly... I do that cycle every year... so well done for jumping back in so soon after.

  4. Hi Paola, great to hear your story and advice on getting back on the proverbial treadmill! I started exercising during the summer (from scratch) post-COPD diagnosis and as part of a weight loss regime. I must admit it does not come naturally but I can see the improvements in stamina. Good luck to us both!

  5. Hello Paola! As you know, I love yoga. This site requires a subscription, but it has many styles of yoga and dedicated classes for things like chronic illness or recovery. Aside from just pure exercise, some of the classes might help you to keep your spirit high to heal up quickly: Good luck!

  6. Glad you're recovering and hope you continue to feel better. I've been settling back into exercise after a huge operation that left me unable to walk properly for 3 years - I've found it difficult and frustrating but I'm gaining fitness again and really starting to feel better about myself for it!

    C xx


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