Damn Son, so sorry to hear about your troubles. Here I thought you were in much better shape then me. I have an elliptical trainer that I walk on at least 4/5 days a week for about 40 minutes at a clipe. With resistance and pushing the handles back and forth I keep a sustained heart rate between 120 and 145. I sweat like a pig, but I do that whenever I exert myself. I had a heart attack 8 years ago and am convinced that exercise will keep me alive. The elliptical is literally zero impact and it moves a number of muscle groups. I should do strength training, but I'm real happy just taking a long walk every morning. Really hope you keep getting better and better each day!!
If motivating to keep regular is the issue, you can try the streak method like I did. I wanted to get fit when I was in my late 40s and a friend told me about playing the game where you see how many days you can go in a row without missing a workout. The workout can anything that gets you moving. For me, it was running, biking, and swimming, mostly running. The game appealed to me so I gave it a shot.
I made it to 17-1/2 years without missing a day until 3 years ago when the streak was broken when I had surgery for prostate cancer. During that streak I ran a couple marathons and numerous other races, competed in swimming at our state Senior Olympics, and had lots of fun. Breaking the streak was a bit of a downer but I still run and swim and take a day or 2 off each week. On swim day I also hit the cardio machines for upper body fitness. I don’t life heavy weights. That’s what we invented machinery for.
As much as I like running, swimming is the one exercise that I know I’ll keep doing until I can do nothing else.
As for how this impacts riding, I did a 6,658-mile trip in 21 days on my FJR this summer with no issues. BTW, I’ll be 70 on my next birthday.
The other thing I found is not nearly as extensive as our friend above, but whatever works! Just- physical motion. For a few yrs now I've been push mowing instead of riding, using the wheelbarrow instead of a trailer, raking instead of using a blower, things like that. Park then walk back to the mailbox instead of checking it on the way in is another good one, so is taking the dogs for a walk. Then we all benefit! Anything to get the knees, hips and shoulders lubed up for the day. It works!
Hope your rehabilitation is going well Whooshka. I'm not exactly one who should be giving advice on fitness, but mostly want to wish you good luck.
Fortunately I haven't been hit with COVID, but 2020 was a rough year nonetheless, with a lot of sitting at home gaining weight and feeling lazier and lazier. Finally got my bicycle out of the garage this spring and that has made a huge difference in my fitness and energy levels.
For general fitness and cardio, the bicycle is awesome. Not as fun as the FJR, but still, there's something about gliding along on two wheels. Explore some new places in your area and it makes it enjoyable to put the miles in.
I'll also put a vote in for a rowing machine... low impact and exercises your whole body. Weights or resistance training is important too... within limits your doc may suggest. Once muscle tissue is gone, it's gone forever.
Baby step today. Took a walk around the block. Gotta admit I was a bit winded. Sat on the front porch just breathing in fresh air and thinking all will be right in the world again soon. Always been a believer that a major part of physical healing is getting right mentally.
It gets better, and won't take all that long..... I let myself get out of shape and went to the gym... baby steps... amazing improvement in just 3 weeks and I didn't push all that hard, just toned up a bit and it felt better mentally and physically. Oxygen, good shit to get it circulating!!