Men who lead physically active lives are at high risk for an inguinal hernia, a bulge in the abdomen caused by the protrusion of tissues through a weak spot in the muscles in this area. The bulge itself can appear on either side of the pubic bone, as well as be painful especially when coughing, bending and lifting objects. There may also be a heavy feeling combined with weakness and/or pressure in the groin.
Even when it isn’t life-threatening in itself, its complications can be potentially dangerous. These include strangulation (i.e., loss of blood flow) to the affected bowel tissue, a life-threatening complication requiring immediate surgery.
If you have undergone a hernia operation, you shouldn’t return to your old workout because you will be making things worse for yourself. Here’s our recommended 8-week recovery plan.
Rest is your best friend a week after your operation. You may be able to walk several hours after the operation but there will be discomfort, usually of an internal pressure near your pubic bone or on your lower abdomen. This is especially true when you’re standing up and walking around.
Your discomfort when standing and walking will largely be gone within 10-14 days. But you shouldn’t engage in cardiovascular exercises, much less strength training exercises, for two weeks after the operation.
Weeks 3 to 4
Your doctor will perform a follow-up checkup to determine if everything’s going as well as it should be. You may then be advised to assume light cardio exercises, such as swimming and walking at a slow pace, which will aid in your recovery. Just don’t overdo it, such as running on a treadmill at a 24 Hour Fitness gym, because it isn’t worth the risk.
Weeks 5 to 6
By this time, you’re nearly up to your normal function, movement-wise. You can then engage in light running but keep it short since pushing your body to its limits still isn’t advisable. You may also add light strength training exercises; keep off the heavy weights and choose resistance bands for now.
Weeks 7 to 8
By the seventh week, you should be able to double on your strength training circuit. The week after that, you will likely be fully recovered so you can adopt more strenuous training. You can return to moderate to heavy cardio, flexibility and strength training exercises; be sure to listen to your body, too, since each case will be different, recovery-wise.
And we also suggest adopting measures to prevent another hernia occurrence. You should rethink your lifting posture, among others, since it may have the biggest influence on your past hernia battle.