Exercising After Bowel Surgery-Protect Your Guts!

The following awesome guide was created by Applied Fitness Solutions for Girls With Guts. Resuming your exercise routine and reestablishing your fitness, after bowel surgery, can be both an exciting and scary proposition. What you can (and should) do, and when you should do them are common questions. Below, I’ll provide some basic guidelines for exercise following bowel surgery. Please keep in mind, that surgeries involving complications may be exceptions to these general guidelines. If you have doubt, please check with your surgeon before beginning an exercise routine.

Activity Should Start Right Away You’ll want to get up and moving almost immediately after bowel surgery. This activity should not be confused with exercise initially, the intensity should be low (you shouldn’t really increase your heart rate very much, and you shouldn’t break much of a sweat either). With that in mind, gentle walking is a great place to begin. Starting with 2 or 3 ten minute bouts of light walking is a safe place to start your post-surgery exercise routine. This light activity will not only aid in improving your mood post-surgery, but it will also speed up recovery and help digestive/bowel function.

Be Progressive Progressing from the light bouts of activity immediately post-surgery is your next important step. Gradually build up over the four weeks following surgery. As you progress towards the third week your activity can begin to become a little more intense (where you’re actually breaking a light sweat). Below is an example of general progression following surgery:

    • Week 1: 2-4 ten minute bouts of low intensity walking each day
    • Week 2: 2-4 fifteen minute bouts of low intensity walking each day
    • Week 3: 2-3 twenty to thirty minute bouts of moderate intensity walking each day
    • Week 4: 1-2 thirty to forty minute bouts of brisk walking each day


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