When Can I Start Exercising after Plastic Surgery?
Body contouring treatments can help enhance the results of a healthy diet and exercise routine by targeting stubborn areas, like the inner thighs and abdomen. After body contouring, many patients are eager to get back to their normal routines, which often includes exercise.
While exercise is essential for good health and maintaining surgical results, exercising too soon after plastic surgery can increase the risk of complications, which is why plastic surgeon Gregory T. Mesna provides patients with a personalized exercise timeline to follow after plastic surgery. If you live in or around Minneapolis, MN and would like to receive a personalized timeline, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mesna.
A General Exercise Timeline after Plastic Surgery
The amount of time needed to recover before exercising will vary by patient based on personal healing times and the extent of plastic surgery. Patients should seek approval from their surgeon before resuming their exercise routine. With that said, the following is a general timeline regarding exercise after plastic surgery. Your personal timeline may vary.
- Week One: During the first week of recovery, patients should allow themselves time to rest. This period of time is when pain, swelling, and general discomfort are typically greatest. Most patients are encouraged to get out of bed and take short, light walks by the second or third day of recovery. Light walking helps the blood circulate, which is beneficial to healing and reducing the risk of blood clots forming in the legs. Although walking is recommended, patients should avoid strenuous exercise or other rigorous activities, including heavy lifting.
- Weeks Two to Three: Pain and discomfort should begin to subside around the second week of recovery and some patients may notice a decrease in swelling. While some may feel well enough to resume exercising, it is important to seek physician approval before taking on more than the recommended activity level. Exercising too vigorously too soon can cause complications, like ripped stitches or other damage to incisions. Walking remains beneficial at this time and many patients will be advised to increase their walks to help the body prepare for more activity in the coming weeks.
- Weeks Four to Five: By week four, many patients are ready to increase their activity level and may be cleared for more moderate exercise, such as light cardio and light weight lifting. The length and intensity of walks may be increased and light jogging may be acceptable at this time. Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided until fully recovered, which may take several more weeks.
- Week Six and Beyond: After six weeks of recovery, most patients will be approved to return to their normal activity level, including strenuous exercise and heavy lifting. It is recommended that patients gradually increase their activity and pay attention to their bodies to avoid straining or injuring themselves as they begin to take on more rigorous activity.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about exercise after plastic surgery, or to find out which treatments are right for you, you're encouraged to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mesna.