Easing Back Into Exercise After Plastic Surgery

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Plastic Surgery in SacramentoNo matter the procedure, recovering from plastic surgery takes time. Even if you were very fit, do not rush back into the exercise habit. Top Sacramento plastic surgeon Debra J. Johnson MD explains why it is crucial to ease back into exercise after plastic surgery, and the best ways to do it.

The Recovery Period

There is a general period of recovery for every surgery during which you must not perform any strenuous exercise for two weeks. This means no cardio and no lifting more than 20 pounds at a time. For abdominal surgeries such as tummy tucks, you should not do any abdominal exercises for at least four weeks. This means no crunches, planks, Pilates, “core exercises” or yoga that increases intraabdominal pressure.

During that first two weeks of recovery, however, it is crucial to walk and stay mobile. You can stroll to your heart’s content. Walk first in the house, then around the block and then perhaps in the park. Don’t stray too far from home, though, because after surgery you will tire easily and may need to make a quick getaway to return home to rest. Be sure and stay well hydrated at all times!

Start Slowly

Taking it easy is the operative word here. Start exercising slowly. Start with half the weight, half the repetitions, half the “level” and half the time of your pre-surgical exercise routine. Then see how you feel the next day; if you feel sore and tired, back off a bit. If you feel great, bump it up a little, day by day, until you’re back to your normal routine.

Listen to what your body tells you. Do not try to overexert yourself. It is also not the time to diet. You need calories to heal. Don’t overeat, but don’t try to lose weight immediately after surgery. Give your body the best chance to heal well by eating healthy protein, fruits and vegetables. Once your body has healed you can tackle any weight loss goals.

Get Medical Clearance

If you engage in more extreme athletic activities, such as wakeboarding, whitewater kayaking or long-distance running, be sure and ask your surgeon before you return to those activities. While most patients recover sufficiently within a certain timeframe to start exercising, every person is different. Always follow your doctor’s orders.

Abdominal Exercises

About four weeks post-surgery, you should be able to participate in low-impact exercises such as swimming, jogging and bicycling. It can take a couple of months before you feel comfortable reintroducing your body to more intense exercise like CrossFit.

For instance, if you had a tummy tuck, you should not lift weights or perform crunches or other core exercises for at least four weeks. Again, gradually ease your way into exercise.

Contact Us

If you are considering plastic surgery and want to know more about exercise after your procedure, contact board-certified Sacramento plastic surgeon Debra J. Johnson MD today and schedule a personal consultation. She will answer any questions you have about the procedure, and help you devise an exercise plan based on your individual needs.