Walking works wonders after surgery. As excruciating as it sounds, dangling your legs off the bed and hitting the floor brings amazing post-op benefits. Most abdominal patients start their ambulatory therapy within 24 hours after surgery.
So why is it so important to get moving? It's because walking prevents a host of complications that follow an operation. First of all, lungs become depressed from anesthesia as well as getting dried out from receiving oxygen as we lie in one position for a protracted period of time. Therefore, changing positions and doing some deep breathing helps prevent Pneumonia.
Secondly, walking gets your guts going again. Often abdominal surgery shuts down our intestines and these organs are ornery. They don’t like being messed with; sometimes it takes a day of two for them to get over it. But walking will let them know that they need to get back to work. Gas, appetite, and bowel function depend on the activity of walking.
Finally, a stroll several times a day builds up stamina. Gentle exercise strengthens your muscle and metabolism. The old axiom, “Use it or lose it” really does apply. The more we plow through the pain the better we’ll feel.
I couldn’t help but see the spiritual parallels between physical exercise and walking by faith. In fact, Scripture exhorts saints to get moving! Jesus commanded the paralytic man, newly healed from his infirmities to “Rise, take up your bed and walk” (Mark 9:2). Sounds like the Great Physicians knew the benefits of walking long before doctors discovered it.
And then there is Paul, the biped of the faith. He told Christians to walk through a variety of circumstances. On the positive side he said to, “Walk in the steps of the faith” (Rom. 4:12) and that “we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Contrarily, he warned us not to walk in the flesh, or as the ungodly, or the disorderly.
The Bangles made walking like an Egyptian popular, but my personal favorite Scriptural swagger is found in Colossians where we are told to walk like God. “Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him” (Col. 1:10). Maybe you have not had abdominal surgery like me. Perhaps the Lord has cut away a bad habit, or an unhealthy relationship, or something you thought you really needed. The best medicine I can offer? Go for a walk! Get up and get going! Show God that you’ll walk with Him through the valleys all the way to the mountain top.
See you on the trails,