Should I Exercise After Cosmetic Surgery?

 In Abdominoplasty, Breast, Breast augmentation, Facelift

Exercise is good for physical and mental health. Prior to cosmetic surgery, a regular exercise regime will help you to get your body into optimum shape, which will help you to heal well and make a rapid recovery.

Exercising can also boost your self-esteem, your energy levels and the quality of your sleep, as well as improving your mood. More than that, it has been shown to reduce the risk of major illness like diabetes and cancer by as much as half.

But, should you exercise after cosmetic surgery?

One of the reasons that people opt for cosmetic surgery is that they want to feel good about themselves and their physical appearance. And exercising fits in with these aims and objectives so it’s natural to want to exercise after surgery.

If you have had a body contouring procedure, a customised workout can enhance the results. However, it is worth taking things slowly and being aware of just what is and isn’t good practice after surgery.

When can I start exercising again?

Your body needs time to heal after any kind of surgery, including cosmetic surgery. For the first few days after your procedure it is advisable to rest and take it easy. You may not feel much like exercising anyway as you are likely to be feeling tired and a bit bruised. 

As your energy levels recover, you can start to introduce gentle light cardio exercise, such as walking or using an exercise bike. It is not a good idea to swim until your wounds have fully healed and you shouldn’t increase your heart rate too high as this can lead to complications. 

You will normally be able to return to your normal exercise regime within six weeks of surgery. However, everyone is different and recovers at different rates so talk to your surgeon who will assess your recovery and make sure that you are ready to begin exercising again.

Depending what procedure you have had, there may be certain type of exercise you should avoid while you are recovering.

This is a quick overview of some of the most common procedures:

After Breast Implants:

Avoid: You should avoid using the pectoral muscles too much as the muscle needs time to heal and develop scar tissue. We recommend avoiding using the pectoral muscles for around four weeks after surgery. In practice, this means no exercises involving the chest and back including push ups, pull ups, weight training, tennis or golf. 

Go Ahead: Light to moderate cardio exercises like walking and stationary cycling are fine as are leg exercises such as lunges, squats and leg presses providing you don’t use weights.

View Our Before & After Gallery: Breast

After a Tummy Tuck:

Avoid: A tummy tuck involves significant abdominal surgery which will affect your core strength. For this reason, it is a good idea to avoid all kinds of exercise for four weeks. During the first six to eight weeks after surgery you will be given a compression garment to wear which will limit swelling. If you exercise too much during this period you will increase the amount of swelling around your waist and scar which will prolong your recovery time. 

Go Ahead: After four weeks, with the go ahead of your cosmetic surgeon you should be able to introduce light cardio exercise before building up to moderate exercise. You should wait eight to 10 weeks before attempting to do sit-ups or twisting movements. 

View Our Before & After Gallery: Tummy Tuck

After a Facelift:

Avoid: If you have had any kind of facial rejuvenation surgery including a facelift, brow lift or eyelid lift, you should avoid any kind of exercise that will increase your blood pressure or heart rate for at lest four weeks. This type of exercise can cause the tiny blood vessels under the skin to bleed which could result in a hematoma – a collection of blood – under the skin. If this happens you will require further surgery.

Go Ahead: After four weeks you should be able to do light cardio exercise such as walking or stationary cycling. Six weeks after surgery it is normally fine to resume more vigorous exercise such as golf or yoga. 

View Our Before & After Gallery: Facelift

Aftercare with Mr Navid Jallali

We advise all of our patients to talk to their surgeon about exercising after surgery. In many cases we can create a personalised workout programme that fits in with your exercise objectives at the same time as supporting you to make a full recovery. 

“Wonderful doctor! Can not wait to go to him for my other surgeries in the future. Not only did doctor Jallali provide me with all the information I needed, he also made sure I was comfortable. His followup sessions were extremely detailed and the results of my surgery speak for themselves”  October 2018 review on Real Self