I’m in my late sixties. About two years ago, I got lazy and stopped working out at the gym. About ten days after a backpacking expedition last summer I developed a hernia. It will probably be a while before I can get that repaired. Now I want to get back some of the muscle that was lost when not working out but I don’t know what kind of exercises I can do with a hernia. My doctor has not been very helpful. The only advice he gave to me was, “No lifting”, but I don’t know how that translates to some of the exercise machines at the gym or to calisthenics type exercises. If anyone has any experience exercising with a hernia I’d greatly appreciate any information that you could give on the subject. Thanks.
It's too bad the doc didn't explain what will happen. The Valsalva Maneuver will mess you up with a hernia. Even if you're not holding your breath, you're building pressure internal to your body cavity. That'll push outward and/or pinch off blood flow to whatever you have poking out.
Look into self heeling hernias if you're not getting the surgery anytime soon. It seems to work for some. Check pilates and yoga exercises for hernia help.
Thanks Shane. Never heard of the Valsalva Maneuver but i'll check into that and the other things that you've mentioned.
I have two hernias. They are actually small and don't involve the intestines only fat tissue. My doctor told me that I could continue lifting and exercising just keep an eye on the hernias. If they start hurting then stop lifting and see him to schedule the procedure. The problem with hernias is that they can come back as the healed tissue is weaker at the point of original tear than elsewhere even with a mesh in place, and that mesh can cause problems itself.
My doctor's word on lifting was no more than 20 pounds, so that's not going to develop much muscle. I think I should be able to do some calisthenics, pushups, pullups etc. but I'm not sure about situps.
Shane suggested that I check pilates for exercises and I found a site called the hernia bible. Thanks Shane. Here are the links: