Hi Hayley,

I am hoping you can help. I recently had laparoscopic surgery to remove my right ovary. All is well and good and my recovery is going as planned. However, here is the problem. I am to do no physical activity, particularly core work for 4-6 weeks. Ugh. I am 32 and a very active person who works out daily for between 30-50 minutes. My usual routine is a rotation of jogging or cardio, yoga, strength training with light weights and lots of planks and squats. I work out not only for body but mind. It calms me down and keeps my stress in check. I am a very clean eater; however, the holiday season is quickly approaching and with it comes events and parties filled with food and drinks. I don't want to roll into December feeling and looking blah. What can you recommend for physical exercise to keep me going?

Thanks so much!


You need to listen to your doctor and your body and let it rest for the time they have prescribed.  Six weeks of your life is nothing, when you look at it in the long run, and you have the rest of your life to be active and healthy so use this time to heal.

I was just there myself -- torn ligaments in my ankle which put me on crutches and prevented me from doing many of the activities that I love to do, and like you I work out for my mind as well as my health. I did find ways to get my heart rate up but because I pushed myself back into being active too soon, I did not heal properly and I am spending more time now trying to rehabilitate.

The only exercise advice I can give you is to rest and accept that for six weeks you have to calm your mind in other ways, such as through meditation. Being injured is a great way to look into new skills so use this time as an opportunity to explore things you normally would not have time to because you would be exercising.

You will have to execute some will power at the parties this holiday season as you are missing your 400-500 calorie buffer you would normally have from your workout.  I am not saying you cannot enjoy yourself but stay away from the chocolates in your office lunch room and if you want to enjoy wine at a Christmas party keep the dessert off of your plate. You do not have to deprive yourself of everything but you cannot have it all.

When you have been given the clearance from your doctor to start exercising again, take it slow and do not overdo it the first day back.  You will lose some fitness over these six weeks so do not expect to be at the same level you were at before your surgery but do understand that with patience it will not take you long to get back at it.

I cannot stress this enough: listen to your body and rest because if you do not you will end up paying for it down the road.

Best wishes.