Exercise basics

The United Network for Organ Sharing recommends that after your surgery, you will need to recover your strength. You may be recovering from the surgery itself as well as the condition that led to your transplant.

Once you have recovered from your surgery, it will be important to try to have regular exercise as a part of your posttransplant life. Exercise is a great way to help increase your energy and strength after a transplant. Talk to your transplant team about which exercises may be the best for you. It is important that you do not start or change any exercise routine before checking if it is okay to do so with your doctor and transplant team.

The American Society for Transplantation advises that a regular exercise routine will also help you maintain your ideal weight, help manage high blood pressure and high blood fats, and keep your bones strong. It may also help to relieve any stress and overcome any feelings of depression that you may be suffering from.

Soon after your transplant, you may want to start slow with a low-impact activity such as walking.

With time, you can increase your workout with more demanding activities such as bicycling, jogging, swimming, or whatever exercise you enjoy.

Training with dumbbells, cuff weights, or other weights will increase strength and help prevent bone loss, but check with your transplant team first to determine how much weight is safe for you to lift.

Stretching exercises are also important for muscle tone and flexibility.

Before starting or changing any exercise routine, it’s important that you talk to your transplant team. This is especially important in life after transplant. It’s best to have the transplant team check your goals and limits.

Exercise basics information according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, www.transplantliving.org/after-the-transplant/staying-healthy/diet-and-exercise/; and the American Society of Transplantation, www.healthytransplant.com/health_maintenance/health_after_transplantation.aspx; both accessed October 14, 2014.