When Can I Start Working Out After Surgery?
Posted April 23, 2020 in Recovery
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The last few weeks have been nothing but unusual. With all of us now being delegated to our indoor confines, it is highly likely that several of you are starting to go a little stir-crazy, especially if you recently underwent cosmetic surgery and are longing to show off your transformative results.
It can be hard to know the right way to spend the extra hours of your day without commutes, long wait times at restaurants, and shopping sprees.
However, if you did recently undergo cosmetic enhancement, now is the ideal time to start thinking about getting active. Exercising after your plastic surgery is a great way to promote the healing process and maintain your cosmetic results—as long as you do it right.
Is It Safe to Exercise After Plastic Surgery?
Being active and exercising after plastic surgery is something of a double-edged sword. When performed correctly, exercise can speed up your recovery by promoting blood circulation, reducing inflammation, and getting your heart rate up.
Unfortunately, too much exercise—or the wrong type of activity—can leave you with a prolonged recovery period and a higher risk of developing post-surgical complications.
What Exercises Should I Focus on After My Plastic Surgery?
In the days following a plastic surgery like a tummy tuck or breast augmentation, even the most routine activities seem like painful chores. While going for a walk may sound like the worst thing for you and your sore muscles, it is actually the best.
Walking promotes blood circulation and gently stretches out the muscles without putting too much pressure on any given area. You should begin walking the day after your surgical procedure (if not the night of) even if you have to hold onto something or have a family member or friend there to stabilize you.
These walks should start slow and short and gradually increase in speed and length.
Whether you are circling the walls of your home in isolation or venturing out to a park or the beach for some precious fresh air, walking is an exercise that should not be skipped.
While some may be looking at the word “pranayama” with confusion, yoga-minded individuals will know that this is a collection of essential breathing practices that purify the body by removing blockages and increasing blood circulation. These breathing techniques can help speed your recovery process and prepare your body for more strenuous exercises.
Which Exercises Should I Wait to Resume After My Plastic Surgery?
Even though walking and running may not seem vastly different, running can pull and damage the muscles that are working in overdrive to heal. This is why it is essential to avoid any strenuous activity immediately following a surgical procedure.
Running can usually be resumed within four to six weeks after your tummy tuck surgery, whether it is on a treadmill or the beach.
Much like running, weight training places significant stress on the body, whether it be on the core or upper body muscles (which can be difficult if you recently underwent breast augmentation surgery).
Weight training can usually be resumed six weeks after your surgical procedure if you were already a weightlifter and your muscles are conditioned to the practice.
Heavy lifting, even at six weeks, may not be appropriate if your idea of weight lifting is carrying groceries into the house or picking up a small child.
Consisting of a series of stretches and physical postures to release tension and strengthen the body, yoga is vastly popular for its ability to keep your physical body toned and your emotional well-being stable (which may not be a bad idea in these unsettling times).
Unfortunately, many yoga postures involve deep stretches and the lengthening and contraction of muscles that may have been affected by your recent plastic surgery. Therefore, asana yoga is not an ideal practice when you are trying to recover from surgery.
Traditionally, most yoga stretches can be resumed at six to eight weeks; however, as your muscles will be tight and tense, it is necessary to work into all stretching slowly.
We all know that sit-ups are a strenuous workout for the abdomen, which may not be ideal if the abdomen is what is in question. Even though you may be anxious to work toward getting a six-pack after body contouring liposuction removes abdominal fat, sit-ups place a significant amount of pressure on the abdomen that can do considerable damage if they are started too soon.
Sit-ups should only be resumed seven to 10 weeks following a tummy tuck, but they can often be started sooner for non-abdominal surgeries.
When Is It Safe to Resume All Activities After Plastic Surgery?
Six weeks is the general guideline provided for when you should be able to safely resume normal activities following breast or body contouring procedures.
As with anything, it is essential to understand that everyone’s body heals differently, and someone else’s recovery time may not work for you. Listen to your body, and if you are unsure, take it slow or talk to your provider.
What if My Plastic Surgery Is Coming Up?
If you are planning to undergo plastic surgery in the coming weeks or months—or your surgical procedure was unfortunately postponed due to COVID-19—now is the perfect time to start preparing your body for your surgery.
The more toned and healthy you are before your surgery, the better off you will be afterward. In addition, a well balanced diet will help your body maximize its natural healing abilities.
Interested in Learning More?
If you are interested in learning more about the body contouring procedures offered by Careaga Plastic Surgery in Miami, Florida, or you have more questions about when it is safe to resume a specific exercise, call us at (305) 574-9262 or fill out our online contact form.