You feel fabulous. You look incredible. Your breast augmentation is everything you hoped it would be. But how do you resume exercising after your procedure? Rest assured, exercise is perfectly safe after a breast augmentation. In fact, your doctor will encourage you to resume exercising within a few weeks of your surgery. For the best surgical outcome, you should always follow the recommendations of your doctor before beginning a workout routine after breast augmentation surgery. If at any point you feel uncomfortable once you have been given the “green light” to exercise, you should call your doctor right away to discuss your concerns. While recovery is a highly individual process, following these gems of advice can help you have the best possible outcome as you resume your workout routine.
Choose a Doctor Who Values and Understands Fitness
If you are an active person who understands the value of physical fitness, you know that exercise is not just something you do, it is a part of your lifestyle. Having to avoid something that is such an integral part of your life can be difficult, both physically and mentally. It is important to select a doctor that understands and values fitness. After any surgery, a doctor will advise rest for a time to give the body adequate time to heal. However, a doctor who understands your drive to get back to the gym will also give you ways to accommodate that desire without undoing the results you have achieved.
Think of Surgery as a Sports Injury
While there are miles of differences between injuries and surgery, one thing is the same – the body needs ample time to recover. During that time, it is important to give it the resources it needs to repair itself including adequate food, water, and prescription medication. You might be tempted to limit one or more of these things with the faulty reasoning that your recovery will somehow be faster and easier if you do. For instance, you may feel that because you are not exercising you should dramatically limit your caloric intake. Or you may feel as though medication is slowing your recovery time. In reality, your body is doing the important, invisible work of healing and must be supported.
It is common among professional athletes to support their body’s healing process through proper nutrition, adequate hydration, and rest. Then, once they have been given permission, they begin to work out slowly, with great care, and with a professional trainer. If something feels off, they consult with their physician who may recommend waiting an additional time before resuming their workout routine. Treat yourself like a professional athlete coming back from injury and allow your body adequate time of fully-supported healing before resuming your exercise routine.
Exercising Can Speed Up Recovery
Going to the gym and power lifting 135 pounds will not speed up your recovery, but certain exercises promote the body’s natural healing process. Again, it is important to consult with your physician before resuming any exercise program. Once they have cleared you for light exercise, begin with low-impact cardio like cycling or walking. These activities can reduce inflammation in your breast tissue by oxygenating bruised muscles. Even yoga, Pilates, or tai chi, exercises that focus on the movement of oxygen through the body, can have a similar impact on healing without affecting your overall surgical results. They also help the shoulder joints to slowly move through their range of motion – an important part of healing after breast augmentation. Be sure to wear extra support even during low-impact exercises to avoid excessive movement in your breasts. Movement can cause pain, swelling, and injury to the surrounding breast tissue, setting your recovery back even further.
Use a Trainer
Even if you are an expert gym-goer, using a trainer who has worked with other women who have received breast augmentation surgery may be one of the best uses of your post-operative time. Having extra help through your first few postoperative workout sessions will ensure you get the workout you need without damaging the results you want. The trainer should know both exercises that will help speed up your recovery and exercises to avoid. With up to an extra 3/4 of a pound of weight on your chest and an extended period away from the gym, you may notice that your balance, center of gravity, and core strength are different than they were before. A qualified, experienced trainer will help you navigate these changes as you make adjustments to your exercise form.
Take it One Week at a Time
Most doctors will put you on a strict timeframe for exercising after breast augmentation surgery. In general, your recovery will begin with only minimal movements in the first few days. Typically, a patient can expect to resume 25 percent of their workout after four weeks, 50 percent of their workout after 5 weeks, 75 percent of their normal routine after 6 weeks, and 100 percent after 7 to 8 weeks with a caveat for running, weight lifting, push ups, pull ups and planks. These activities involve significant impact to the pectoral muscles and require adequate healing before they can be performed without causing damage to your body. Of course, girls who lift want to get back to the gym as soon as possible, and it is probable they will be able to resume some weight lifting activities that do not have chest involvement in as little as four to six weeks. You can generally resume Crossfit, Powerlifting, and other Olympic weightlifting movements after a minimum of two months of recovery time, but as always, it is important to consult with your doctor about their recommendations for your body.
After spending so much time, money, and energy on your new body, the recovery process is protecting your investment. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity to heal will give you the breasts you want without additional surgeries, infections, or recovery time. Use this time to pause, reflect on your experience, listen to your doctor, and rest. Before you know it, you’ll be back in the gym, a whole new you.