We want to support all patients who are coming into hospital for surgery to move more in the weeks leading up to their operation, to help you prepare your body and recover more quickly. Physical activity is not all about sport, anything that gets you moving is really beneficial for your health and helps build your strength and stamina for your operation. On this page you will find resources to help you increase your activity levels in the lead up to your operation.
In this video, hear from Dr Caroline Thomas, Consultant Anaesthetist, about the importance of doing more physical activity before you come into hospital for your operation.
Increasing your activity
No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Adults should aim to be active every day.
Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier before your surgery. You do not have to walk for hours or long distances to make a difference. A 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and getting out into the fresh air can also help to reduce stress and improve your mental health. You can start small and build up your time – you might be surprised how much you can do! Brisk walking is simply walking quicker than usual at a pace that gets your heart pumping. Every minute of activity counts, but aim for at least 10 minutes a day.
We're delighted to have teamed up with Cycle for Health to offer anyone waiting for surgery at Leeds Teaching Hospitals the opportunity to join a FREE 12 week cycling course! Cycle for Health was created in West Yorkshire as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme. The course will help you to improve your health and fitness and it is designed for adults of any age.
Physical activity at home
If you don’t feel comfortable going outside or attending a class, you can still make a big difference by doing more physical activity at home. There are lots of videos available online to guide you through this, with many suitable for adapting to your needs. Start with a 10 minute video and work your way up, or take a look at our resources for a step-by-step guide.
Simple ways to be more active every day:
- Walking the dog
- Digging in the garden or cutting the grass
- Using the stairs rather than taking the lift
- Parking at a further car parking space when you go shopping
- Getting off the bus one stop before your destination
- Joining a dance group, jogging club, walking football or the gym
- Active 10 app - download the app to record every minute of walking you do (anonymously) and stay motivated by setting goals and marking achievements
- Couch to 5K - A running programme for absolute beginners. Couch to 5K has now helped more than 4 million people start running.
- 10-minute workouts - These equipment-free fitness routines are great to do at home and short enough to fit into your daily schedule.
- Get fit for free - the NHS website has lots of suggestions for how to get fit without spending any money
- 9 ways to get more active - helpful tips from the British Heart Foundation
- Exercise guidelines - read more about the physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64
- Be Active - This website will help you find resources to help you be active at home, whether that's with your family or on your own.
- Active Leeds Cardiac Rehab - YouTube videos
- Keep Moving - YouTube videos
- Escape Pain - YouTube videos
- Strength & Balance - YouTube videos
Physical activity for cancer patients
- Active beyond cancer - Leeds Rhinos Foundation in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research offers a rehabilitation programme to support cancer patients in Leeds.
- 5k your way - a community-based initiative to encourage those living with and beyond cancer, families, friends and those working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at a local 5k Your Way parkrun event on the last Saturday of every month.
- SafeFit - SafeFit supports people living with cancer to maintain and improve their physical and emotional wellbeing
Support from One You Leeds
We’re working with the friendly One You Leeds team, who are available to provide support and guidance to help you move more ahead of your operation. They can offer a range of free physical activity classes including group exercise sessions and walking groups tailored to meet your fitness levels.
Support from Active Leeds for Health
If you have a health problem or long term condition, the team at Active Leeds for Health can help you to lead an active, healthy life before and after your operation. They deliver a range of activities to improve your strength, balance and coordination at local community hubs and leisure centres.