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May 04, 2018 06:09 PM

Getting 'Fit For Surgery'

For those undergoing surgery it's not just the procedure they should prepare for. 

The recovery time after having surgery can take what feels like forever. 

Cindy Van't Hof struggled with silent reflux issues for most of her life, prompting doctors to suggest gastric bypass surgery. 

Before the procedure Van't Hof looked for ways to prepare. 

"If you're stronger going into a surgical procedure, no matter what it is... not just physically but mentally you're more likely to recover quickly," Van't Hof said. 

Van't Hof enrolled in an eight week fitness program with Avera Wellness called Fit For Surgery.

"The goal is to get stronger going into surgery, and the stronger you are going into surgery typically you tend to heal faster and recover faster," Trainer Jessica Walhof said. 

The medically based program usually draws in those undergoing orthopedic surgeries, but Walhof says it's available to any pre-surgery patients.  

The only stipulation to joining this program is you must have a doctor's referral ahead of time. 

"Most of the time, I haven't had a doctor say no," Walhof said. 

"I reached out to my doc and he said oh yea, that'd be a great idea. He sent me a referral and I started January 9," Van't Hof said. 

An expected recovery time for this type of surgery is determined on a patient to patient basis, averaging somewhere around six weeks. 

Van't Hof was given an eight week recovery period, and she says it couldn't be going better.  

"I maybe had a little bit of time in there where I just couldn't come in because I wasn't feeling well enough but, I'm doing things again, and it's been very positive," Van't Hof said. 

So positive that she decided to make her presence at the gym permanent.

"I'm a member now! So, I come probably three times a week maybe four, depends on how I'm doing," Van't Hof said. 

So if you're looking for some motivation, this first time gym member might just do the trick. 

If you're interested in finding out more on this program, click here.

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