I haven’t really had a decent work out in three months. I did start back at the gym last week, but only did elliptical. I started off gently. This week it’s back full force, the weights and exercising all the muscle groups.
I asked the surgeon what I can / can’t do. He did tell me that pretty much any exercise I do will affect my neck. It will hurt. Don’t push too much, but don’t be a wimp either. Listen to my body.
Well. Ow freaking ow!
Seriously though, I had a wonderful work out. My muscle tone is not that badly affected by my three months off, which is a relief because it did take me almost 6 months to build it up to where it was pre-surgery. BUT the doc was right. Everything affected my neck. Even sit ups pulled on my neck. I didn’t do as many reps as I had wanted to – I know I need to build up gradually, but I was not prepared for even the most benign of exercises to pull at my neck.
I will take tomorrow off or just do cardio, then back again to the machines and the weights. I need to be in fighting form. Being stronger helps me think better.
Off to shower and wait for the Advil to kick in. But, I am glad I am getting back into shape. I am taking care of me, as well as everyone else, and that’s so important.
Anything that involves your upper body, including stomach, arms, upper back exercises will affect your neck. You should talk to someone more knowlegeable about exercise, perhaps at the gym. Using the ellyptical machine can cause stress because of posture and arm work. Take it easy. Also, there is almost always a safer way to do an exercise until you can do it the way you did it before. A personal trainer could give you some quick pointers if you explained your regular routine. Last thing you want to do is injure yourself before you’re completely healed. For instance, I do chair and standing pilates because regular pilates often hurts my neck. For yoga, I let the teacher know what are my problem areas and ask for modifications. My physical therapist has also been helpful on showing me how to use machines or something else in a way so as not to hurt problem areas. Good luck!
Your physical therapist might talk to you about graded exercise therapy. I went up by gradual timed increments the stronger I got weekly while working out daily, usually five minutes up per week until I hit my regular routine. It worked and I found I wasn’t doing too much at the gym too fast and built my strength.