Beforehand, ask your doctor about surgery ‘prehab’
Canadian researchers studied 77 subjects scheduled for colorectal cancer surgery, who were counseled on exercise, nutrition, and relaxation. Half the patients started the program about a month before surgery and continued for eight weeks after; the other half started right after the procedure. Two months after surgery, the “prehab” group performed significantly better in a mobility test than at the study’s start, while the traditional rehab group did worse.
Think your way strong
In a small study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, about 30 volunteers put their non-dominant arms in casts for four weeks. Half were asked to imagine flexing and resting their immobilized wrists in five-second intervals. All casted volunteers lost strength, but those who performed mental exercises lost 50 percent less strength than those who had not. Practicing mental exercises may help postoperative patients preserve functionality.