collaborative post // When you first hear the word ‘operation’, it’s often put alongside some negative connotations because of what you’ve seen on the news or heard through the grapevine. It doesn’t need to be like that at all, however.

Sure, different operations will have different levels of severity and an increased chance of complications or medical negligence occurring; but thankfully in the UK, the percentage of complications and even death during operations over the past decade have dropped significantly.

It shows, that whilst the health sector is having incredible issues, they are still doing an incredible job and that is a credit to everyone who works in the industry.

Despite that, it is never a nice thought having to go through an operation. However, there are things that you can do to prepare mentally and physically for the procedure to ensure you’re in the best headspace for it.

Maintain a healthy diet

Prior to your operation, you will want to try and maintain a healthy diet. Not only will this help you in the long term from both a physical and mental perspective, but it will also prepare your body for the surgery and repairing that will be required afterwards. Moreover, you are also reducing the chance of complications occurring as maintaining a healthy, balanced diet will in turn help keep your body in good shape which will reduce the risk.

Improve your fitness

Studies have shown that physical activity not only allows you to lose weight, but it also helps with your mental health. As mentioned in the Mind article above, it helps improve sleep, mood and managing stress/anxiety, just to name a few.

When we initially think of improving our fitness, we think of those people who go on 5 or 10k runs without even breaking a sweat. Whilst that may sound unachievable at first, you can start small and build up! It’s advised to try and do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and this can be anything from walking to general exercises in your home.

One of the good things to come out of previous lockdowns is that now there are plenty of free home exercise videos out there to help keep you fit. Any exercise you do will help you with any operations you have in the future.

Reduce your alcohol consumption and smoking

As expected, a lot of alcohol or smoking can increase the chance of health risks arising and complications during an operation. If you do have an operation, it’s advised that you do not drink or smoke excessively as these can both impact the recovery period and increase the chance of infection.

Alcohol in moderation can bring benefits, but moderation here is key, and going above recommended limit will do more harm than good! Talking about smoking, however, there are zero benefits from it. Not only is it an expensive ‘hobby’, but smokers are only causing harm to their own bodies. Reducing or stopping both will only bring physical and mental improvement.

There are plenty of other things you can do to prepare, but these are a great place to start. Most these can be done immediately and the benefits will continue to appear the longer you do them.

If you think you’ll struggle to do them all initially, then try one at a time. Each individual will bring their own benefits and once you do all of them your mental and physical health will only continue to improve.

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