Why Exercise and Plastic Surgery Go Hand-in-Hand
We often think of plastic surgery as something someone turns to when diet and exercise don’t put them where they want to be, cosmetically speaking. To undergo any plastic surgery procedure is to make a meaningful investment in oneself. Overall, patients who reduce fat, tighten their abdomen or another area, enhance their breasts, or rejuvenate their faces are happy that they did. In fact, many patients are more motivated than ever after plastic surgery to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Regardless of the procedure that is performed, it is important to follow plastic surgery up with healthy habits that include regular exercise. The benefits that come from good habits include:
- Long-term results are more easily maintained with regular exercise, especially body-contouring.
- Sustained self-confidence, both in the physical outcome of surgery and in the self-discipline it takes to maintain results.
- Optimal health and a decreased risk of developing various weight-related diseases.
- Better overall mood and emotional health due to regulated levels of “happiness hormones” produced during and after exercise.
Exercise is not only recommended after one has healed from a plastic surgery procedure but also during their recovery process. The activities that are engaged in may be light, but they are advantageous to promoting blood flow that supports tissue recovery. Light activity also reduces the risk of developing a blood clot after surgery. For this reason, many surgeons encourage their patients to begin walking as soon as they feel up to it following their procedure.
Resuming an Exercise Routine After Surgery
Exercising after plastic surgery is advantageous but only if taken slowly. Too much too soon could result in a prolonged recovery period at best and unnecessary surgical complications at worst. While walking is encouraged, patients are advised to postpone more rigorous exercise until they have fully recovered. How long this takes depends on the procedure as well as the body’s natural healing process. Every person is different, which is why we make activity recommendations based on direct follow-up visits with each patient.
In general, it may be possible to resume light cardio such as riding a bike or certain low-intensity workouts 2 to 3 weeks post-op. More moderate activities may resume about one month after surgery. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for the body to be ready for more strenuous exercise that includes heavy lifting or strain.