The Best Exercises After Appendicitis

Appendicitis is a painful condition that typically develops suddenly. The best exercises after appendicitis are designed to help return your body to its healthy physical state and improve range of motion in limbs that may have slight atrophy during your illness.

Short walks is a great exercise after appendicitis. (Image: JGI/Tom Grill/Tetra images/GettyImages)

If you did not require an appendectomy for your appendicitis, chances are you will be able to exercise at full strength as soon as the inflammation decreases.

If you have undergone surgery, slowly building up your exercise regimen, especially abdominal exercises, will help you increase strength without causing complications.


Exercising after appendicitis might be possible soon after recovery, or it could be delayed — particularly if you require surgery. Check with your surgeon for specific instructions about exercise after appendectomy.

Post-Surgery Bed Exercises

If you've recently had an appendectomy, chances are you will be in bed for an extended period of time. Consult your doctor before attempting any exercises while in bed.

If you get the go-ahead from your doctor, starting off with basic leg pumps and lifts to help improve blood flow and circulation in the lower portions of your body. In addition, performing bed exercises can also help reduce the risk of blood clots forming in your lower extremities. Do these exercises every hour while in bed.

Take Short Walks

After 10 to 14 days of relative inactivity, it is usually safe to begin performing basic exercises as you return to your normal life. According to Mayo Clinic, you should begin your post-appendicitis exercise regimen with short walks.

During these walks, be aware of your walking form and posture, trying to keep additional weight off your abdominal muscles. Stop walking as soon as you feel fatigued and do not push yourself to exercise for extended periods of time.

Gentle Abdominal Exercise

After several weeks of recovery, perform gentle strengthening exercises to begin rebuilding your abdominal muscles.

HOW TO DO IT: Start by sitting down on the edge of a bed with your feet hanging off the edge of the bed. With your back straight and core tightened, slowly lift up your legs until they are parallel with the floor. Hold this position for several seconds before slowly lowering your legs back to their original position. Repeat until fatigued.

Swimming and Recovery

Swimming is a low impact exercise that puts low amounts of stress on your joints during exercise. After recovering from appendicitis, start with short laps, using a freestyle swim technique to put less strain on your abdominal muscles.

Stop swimming as soon as you feel any tension or pain in your lower abdominal region. As your strength returns, increase the number of laps you perform in the pool and vary the strokes you will perform.

Check with your surgeon before swimming to make sure it's safe to get your incision wet. This activity can typically be started two to three weeks after surgery, according to Buckinghamshire Healthcare.

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