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Post-Surgery Healing: Natural Steps to Speed Up Recovery

Post-Surgery Healing: Natural Steps to Speed Up Recovery

Very often, many people reach for prescribed drugs to help alleviate post-surgery discomfort. Although they may be helpful, they come with a bevy of potentially harmful side effects. Because of this, researchers have been looking for more natural ways to help aid in recovery. Listed below are a few ways to help you heal, naturally.

Lighten up Your Diet

After surgery, your body needs time to adjust to the foods that you would normally be able to eat. Often, it has a more difficult time digesting processed or fatty foods. To aid your body in its recovery, you should eat lighter than normal.

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According to Dr. Elson M. Haas, M.D., director and founder of the Preventative Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California, the best options would be meat and vegetable broths, pureed vegetables and fruits, nutrient or protein powders, light soups, and fresh juices. Be wary of low-nutrient liquids and soft foods that are often offered at the hospital. You may also have a problem with nausea and a decreased appetite. To increase your appetite, you can try sipping on lemon balm tea several times a day, while ginger tea can help relieve nausea.

Treat Pain with Natural Pain Relievers

Instead of reaching for potentially habit-forming, side effect-ridden pharmaceuticals to help alleviate pain after a surgery, why not try natural pain relievers? Devil’s claw, or Harpagophytum procumbens, was found to help significantly reduce the sensation of pain, as well as reduce inflammation. Another effective herb is bromelain, which is found in pineapple stems. It helps boost immunity, alleviates pain, and shows anti-inflammatory properties. Remember to always do your own research and check with your doctor before commencing use of any new medications.

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Exercise

Besides taking natural supplements and monitoring your nutrition, you should also try gentle exercise to get your body going again. Before doing this, you should talk to your physician to learn your limitations and have them write out specific exercises that you are able to do. Keep your exercise routines low impact, such as short walks. Do not push yourself past your limitations during recovery because it could create an entirely new set of problems.

Boost Your Immune System

Not only are you recovering externally, your body must recover internally as well. With a depleted nutritional reserve, your immune system is also impacted by the general anesthesia which is found to temporarily lower T-cell activity, antibiotics which can suppress immunity, and pre- and post-surgery CAT scans and X-rays that can decrease stores of antioxidants.

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To help boost your immunity, there are many supplements and herbs that can go along with a nutrient-rich diet, such as Vitamin C (increases production of antibodies, helps reduce surgical bleeding, and helps metabolize anesthetics), Vitamin A (enhances immune cell function and protects against infection), and green tea (protects against bacterial infections and may help “turn on” immune cells).

Treat Wounds Properly

Besides ingesting herbs to help in post-surgical healing, you may also use them as topical remedies. According to New Zealand researchers, honey aids in rapidly clearing infection, reduces inflammation, and provides a moist healing environment. Another study published by Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that gotu kola, another herb, was found to facilitate the repair of connective tissue, increase antioxidant levels, and reduce scarring.

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Regain Health

Taking antibiotics is unavoidable while recovering from surgery. Although helpful, they also come with risks. Antibiotics fight bacterial cells but also kill good bacteria during the process. Think “friendly fire.” Because of this, you are at an increased risk for developing UTIs, digestive problems, or yeast infections. Thankfully, there are ways to counteract these effects with probiotics, which are naturally found in your digestive tract. Such supplements are bifidobacteria and acidophilus, two of the most popular probiotics.

While taking these antibiotics, you’ll also be undergoing post-surgical tests which can expose your body to toxins. To rid your body of these toxins, it is suggested that after full recovery, you should try a juice or detox cleanse for a day or two, then begin a two-week diet of organic foods.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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