Let's get moving

In this section you will find links to resources and tools to help your patients stay active and prepare them for their surgery

Physical activity in the perioperative period

Staying active is one of the best things that patients can do whilst waiting for surgery ("almost", stopping smoking is the best). Those who get fitter before surgery lower their risk of complications, leading to less time in intensive care, shorter bed stays and better outcomes.

Top tips for everyone include: 

  • Remember how important this is, for your future self

  • Remember that it is more dangerous to be inactive than to do some activity

  • Put it in your diary, make it a habit

  • Pick an activity that works for you (swimming, cycling, brisk walking, etc)

  • Get family, friends, partner involved

  • Set goals and mini-rewards

  • Sign up for something, so you do the training and don’t want to let the team down

  • Start slowly and build up: intensity, frequency and duration

  • It is almost always safer to be active than to remain physically inactive. Stop if you: Get heart pain, irregular heartbeat, dizziness or a sudden change in vision; have an infection making you feel unwell


Supporting patients to stay active

Below you will find tools and links to resources to help your patients stay active and prepare them for surgery.

Moving Medicine

Moving Medicine information and advice on how to have include exercise as a motivational interviewing consultation in one minute  

We are undefeatable
The Richmond Group of Charities and partners

We are undefeatable is a  physical activity offer for inspiration, ideas and resources. Read stories of people living with long term health conditions, and how they have found their way to move more. The Five in Five initiative allows for building small amounts of activity into your day, and is a five minute mini customisable workout.

Let's Move for Surgery

A toolkit consisting of short videos of various exercise routines. There is also a collection of personal stories and advice from those living with arthritis and tips from physiotherapists on keeping active

Let's Move for Surgery

Fitter For Surgery, Fitter For Life - From Concept to Reality

Read Dr Rebecca Barker's blog, who talks about the impact that prehabilitation can have on surgical outcomes. 

Fitter For Surgery, Fitter For Life - From Concept to Reality

British Society of Lifestyle Medicine

The British Society of Lifestyle Medicine offers resources on lifestyle medicine and physical activity, as well as a podcast series called "Movement Prescription Podcast". 



Professor Scarlett McNally
CPOC Deputy Director
MacMillan Cancer Support

A collection by MacMillan Cancer Support of videos, podcasts and physical activity guides to help healthcare professionals support their patients with cancer


Prehabilitation resources for healthcare professionals

Fitter Better Sooner
Royal College of Anaesthetists

Fitter patients who are able to improve their health and activity levels recover from surgery more quickly and with fewer complications. 

The Royal College of Anaesthetists' Fitter Better Sooner resources will provide information needed to become fitter and better prepared for surgery

Swim England

Swim England with support from NHS England elearning for healthcare, Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and University of Nottingham has developed a new elearning programme on the unique health benefits of aquatics and swimming.  You can access the elearning programme here


CPOC has not undertaken a full review of these resources, unless it specifically states CPOC endorsement has been granted. CPOC is simply providing links to these resources.