While you wait, do what you can to look after your physical health

The information and advice here is aimed at helping you arrive for your appointment in the best possible physical health.

On this page you will find information to help you maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, quit smoking, move more and reduce your alcohol intake if necessary.

Small changes can make a difference. Maintaining and improving your overall wellbeing will also lead to a faster recovery if you require surgery.

How do I best prepare myself for surgery?

Keeping yourself healthy before your operation

Maintaining a healthy weight, getting active or quitting smoking. There are steps you can take now to help make your surgery or treatment a success. The national Better Health website can help you to kickstart your health ahead of your operation and prepare you for a healthier, happier future.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of complications during surgery. If your operation is not urgent and you are overweight, taking time to lose weight before going ahead may be of great benefit to you.

Losing weight is not about getting it right – it’s about getting started. Making small, simple changes can really help you shed the pounds. Get started today with our tips, support and specialist offers.

More Support

Food and Nutrition

Your body needs to repair itself after surgery – eating a healthy diet before and after your surgery can really help.

Quit Smoking

If you’re going into hospital for an operation, it’s strongly advised that you stop smoking as soon as possible. Quitting smoking before an operation will reduce your chances of complications and speed up your recovery after surgery. It will also make your stay at hospital more comfortable as smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds.

Try to quit smoking as soon as you can, as this will give your body as much time as possible to repair itself before surgery. The best way to quit smoking is with a combination of personalised support and stop smoking aids, like nicotine replacement.

Further Support

Moving More

There are many changes you can make to reduce the risks of surgery. Your heart and lungs have to work harder after an operation to help the body to heal. If you are already active, you will be used to this. While you are waiting for your operation, try and increase your activity levels. Activities that improve your strength and balance will also be useful for your recovery. Always check with your doctor first what type of exercise is most appropriate for you.

No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Adults should aim to be active every day. Some is good – more is better still. A daily brisk walk can boost your energy, lift your mood and make everyday activities easier.

More Support


Alcohol can have many effects on the body, but importantly it can reduce the liver’s ability to produce the building blocks necessary for healing. Make sure you are drinking within the recommended limits, or lower, to improve your body’s ability to heal after surgery.

Cutting back on alcohol can be a really effective way to improve your health, boost your energy, lose weight and save money. Any reduction in the amount you drink every week will be beneficial – and with the right support, it’s easier than you think. There are some simple tips and tools to help you start cutting down today.

Further Support

Medical Warning

Get medical advice before you stop drinking if you have physical withdrawal symptoms (like shaking, sweating or feeling anxious until you have your first drink of the day). It can be dangerous to stop drinking too quickly without proper help. There’s lots of support out there.

More Support

Keeping Well this Winter - Advice for Older Residents

This booklet has been created by Greater Manchester Combined Authority in collaboration with the Healthy Ageing Research Group, linked to the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing, based at the University of Manchester.

This booklet updates an earlier version, adds new sections and has lots of ideas and suggestions to help us keep active and connected, stay safe and well, and manage our money and home. It is written for those with less or no access to online resources and includes a list of useful contact numbers.


More Support

Who else can I ask for help?

Your GP surgery will be able to weigh you and signpost you to advice on healthy eating, any local weight loss schemes and exercise opportunities in your area.

You can also speak to your GP or local pharmacist for help to quit smoking.


Please leave any feedback you have here.

    Did you find what you needed today?

    Tell us what was missing?

    What are you planning to do next with the information you've found?

    How can we make this website better?