Adventures of a Kidney Donor

September 8, 2011

Keep Moving!

Filed under: Medical — by anne315 @ 12:00 pm
Tags: ,

Today on my walk I thought of this blog. (When I walk a lot of ideas come to me.)  First let me say I am not speaking as a terribly fit person. As a matter of fact, people look surprised when I say that I exercise every day because I don’t look like it. I have my family’s “wonderful” metabolism–after one week of basically not eating after surgery I lost a grand total of two pounds. But more than aesthetics, exercise just helps you feel better.  Leslie Sansone (who has a lot of workouts that I like) says:  “How many times after a workout do you say, ‘I am sorry I did that?’ Never.”

You really have to keep moving after a kidney donation. Your inclination may be (mine was) to curl up and not move but everything gets better when you move. The hospital didn’t fool around, they had me up and walking the evening of my surgery. Walking speeds your recovery. It helps loosen muscles which tighten from so much lying down. It improves your circulation, lung capacity and helps your digestive system. The benefits go on and on.

When I got home I was dismayed at how much fluid I was retaining and how winded I was. As soon as I could manage even half a mile of walking, the fluid went away and my side aches were better. I normally do two miles a day or more but I can only manage one mile at time for now. I do one mile in the morning and one in the afternoon. Today for the first time I didn’t feel quite as winded and my pace was faster. I know it will take a while to get back to my normal routine.

Do whatever works for you. Walk, run (after six weeks) dance, bike…Some people like the motivation of a gym. I prefer walking outside or home exercise DVDs where no one can see how stupid I look. Your local library probably has exercise DVDs to borrow.  I like Leslie Sansone and Chris Freytag which are low impact but there are many others to choose from. Exercise TV has free workouts on cable and satellite.

Having said all of this, don’t do any strenuous exercise for six weeks. I miss my arm weights because my arms are jello but I am not fooling with them for fear of hernia.  Don’t run, do crunches or other abdominal exercise etc. Listen to your body and don’t overdo.

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

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