Thanks to reality TV, we’ve come to live almost exclusively in either the before or the after. Everything in between has been edited down to a few seconds. But life demands more patience than that.
A question I’m often asked is, “After my surgery, when can I get back to exercising again?” Their reaction sometimes is disbelief when they hear weeks and they were expecting days. Preparing for plastic surgery, both physically and mentally, is critical, and a big part of that is setting realistic expectations for your recovery.
I love the drive of someone who’s determined to go for a run or get back in the gym a few days after a major surgical procedure, but rushing your recovery opens you up to all sorts of complications and even another surgery. Apply that focus and willpower to your recovery instead.
Everyone heals at a different pace, so two people may undergo the same procedure, but one could start exercising after plastic surgery a week or two before the other. The answer I offer in my consultations, and what you’ll find online, is merely an estimate. Above all, listen to your body. If something’s causing swelling or discomfort, pull back.
Before we dismiss them altogether, there is value in the estimates. They give us a framework to build our expectations around when you can begin exercising after plastic surgery. So, here’s a general timeline:
- Two weeks after surgery: The bruising and swelling should have significantly subsided. You should continue to avoid strenuous activities, but begin lengthening your walks as your energy and stamina returns.
- Four weeks after surgery: With your surgeon’s approval, you should be ready to start some light cardio, but nothing more intense just yet.
- Six weeks after surgery: You should be completely healed. Again, with your surgeon’s approval, you can start easing back into your regular exercise regimen. Don’t expect to pick up where you left off, though.
Heeding particular precautions
Just as everyone heals at their own rate, each procedure comes with its own precautions. After breast augmentation, for example, especially with implants under the muscle, try to avoid strenuous chest exercises, like pushups. The contraction places downward and outward pressure on them, which, over time, can result, in the implants dropping or becoming displaced.
If you’ve had a nose job and your nose starts to hurt, or it bleeds or swells during or immediately after exercising, contact your surgeon. And even if you’re exercising without any trouble, you need to be mindful of being hit in the nose by someone else or a piece of equipment before it’s fully healed, which, for some, could be up to a year.
When it comes to injectables and to create great botox results we tell patients not to lay down or workout for at least four hours. Many times terrific Botox results and amazing lips rely on following post-injectable procedures.
In time, these thoughts will gravitate toward the back of your mind, and exercise will become second nature again. The more conscientious you are during your recovery, the sooner that time will come when you can return to exercising after plastic surgery.