Need surgery? THIS lowers complications

We live in some incredible times.

I mean, with all of the advances in modern medicine, it’s easy to stumble into a false sense of safety or ultimate healing.

That’s especially true when it comes to surgery.

Now, you already know how I feel about elective surgery… that “fast fix” may be quite detrimental to your body.

But what if surgery is deemed absolutely necessary to your health and well-being?

Well, at the very least, I encourage you to be proactive about your time under the knife—and help ease your recovery.

The good news is, research reveals a simple lifestyle habit can do just that, while also LOWERING risk for complications…

Recover and heal

According to a new study, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) prior to surgery can lessen the risk for complications.

(HIIT is defined by short bursts—I’m talking about minutes, if not seconds—of high-intensity exercise, followed by rest.)

Researchers looked at data from just over 830 patients, most of whom underwent a major abdominal surgery, and compared the effects of this type of exercise against standard care.

(Standard care includes general information about staying active and reducing alcohol intake and smoking prior to going under.)

It turns out, instructing patients to perform different variations of HIIT—like my favorite exercise of all, cycling—can improve peak oxygen uptake before surgery. (This is a measurement of how much oxygen your body is able to use.)

And according to one of the study authors, “That’s important because your body needs oxygen to recover and to heal itself after surgery.”

Fast, free, and successful

If you’re a regular reader, you may already know how HIIT can support heart health… and it’s not hard to understand why a healthy heart is vital to a successful surgery.

Remember, HIIT includes short bursts of intense exercise separated by lower-intensity intervals. My personal favorite way to take advantage of it is cycling. (I take a SoulCycle class, but just think of it like this… add a few rounds of high-intensity pedaling into your session. Recover. Repeat)

Of course, you can find lots of fun, free HIIT programs on YouTube.

The best part? They only take about 10 to 15 minutes each—30 minutes tops.

And they really get your heart pumping, which helps whip you into better shape in no time—say, before that upcoming surgery!


“Planning surgery? High-intensity ‘prehab’ exercise can help recovery.” The Washington Post, 08/30/2023. (