POSTED 7th December 2016
With the start of a new year, health and wellbeing is on most people’s minds. It’s a time when many of us review our lifestyles and make commitments to take more exercise and eat a healthier diet.
All too often, however, we lack the motivation to continue with these improvements, and a few weeks later we revert to our old habits. (Though this article from New Scientist gives some helpful tips on staying motivated).
However, if you’re considering having plastic surgery this year, it could be the incentive you need to make long-term changes for the better. This is because a good level of basic fitness and a healthy body weight will help you to cope with anaesthetic and surgery, and will also help boost your body’s immune system which will support the healing process. And the sooner you begin, the better.
As we all known, small lifestyle changes are the key to long-term success but results can take time. So, if you’re thinking of having surgery in late-spring or summer this year, then now’s the time to act.
You probably know if you could do with shedding a few pounds, though if you want to check if your body weight is within a healthy range then use this handy online tool from the NHS.
You may also find it helpful to complete the NHS’s One You survey which aims to help people understand how to improve their overall health. The initiative was launched just before Christmas when it was reported that 8 in 10 people aged 40 – 60 in England are overweight, drink too much or get too little exercise. The survey takes only 5 minutes to complete and will give you a good assessment of your overall health, and tips for improving your lifestyle.
If you smoke, we would advise that you cease for at least eight weeks before your surgery. However, if your surgery is more than eight weeks away, it’s still a good idea to stop or reduce the amount you smoke, and make a long-term commitment to smoke less if you can. This is because smoking leads to higher risks of complications during and after surgery. The NHS produces lots of useful resources and programmes to help with smoking cessation and there are lots of websites offering hints, advice and motivation to keep you going.
If you already lead an active lifestyle, that’s great – keep it up as you approach the date of your surgery! A strong, healthy heart will stand you in good stead for your treatment and recovery.
If you know you could be fitter, then it’s never too late to start. Fitness experts always recommend finding an activity which you love to do as it helps you to maintain a regular exercise regime. However, try to ensure it’s something that will increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping as you need to do something which improves the strength of your heart. This might be a good workout in the gym, or it might be a regular, brisk walk.
When you attend your initial consultation, we will discuss your overall health and explore any health-related issues which are relevant to the procedure you have in mind. If you want to know what you can do to improve your health and fitness before your plastic surgery, please feel free to ask any questions during your initial consultation.