Frank Agullo, MDBoard Certified Plastic Surgeon

How to Exercise After a Tummy Tuck

shutterstock_103383050Anyone who has undergone major surgery knows that the body needs some time to recover before you exercise again. Resuming exercise too soon after surgery can lead to injuries, infections, or worse. After tummy tuck surgery, it is important that you follow Dr. Agullo’s directions and exercise safely so that your body heals properly.

How to Exercise During Recovery

During the first few weeks after tummy tuck surgery, you will be in recovery. It is likely that you will experience pain, soreness, and fatigue that will deter you from wanting to exercise. While it is important to rest during this time, you should get up, walk around, and keep mobile within the first 24 hours after treatment. Do not do anything too strenuous; rather, limit your physical activity to light walking around the block or house. This light cardiovascular exercise will help your circulation and help you avoid blood clots as your body heals. Avoid abdominal exercises, weight lifting, and intense cardio during this time. Gradually increase the length of time you walk or the frequency of times that you go walking to increase your body’s endurance.

When to Reintroduce More Active Exercises

Before and After Tummy TuckAfter four to six weeks, much of your soreness and fatigue will be gone. Most patients at this point are ready to pursue more active and strenuous activities. Depending on how your recovery is going, Dr. Agullo may recommend that you wait longer. It is most important that you follow Dr. Agullo’s instructions for your recovery, as they will be tailored to your needs. Do not push yourself too soon. Even if you were very healthy and active before your surgery, your body will not be able to immediately resume the same activities you could do before surgery. It will need to be gradually eased into your former exercises. If Dr. Agullo has approved that your body is ready for more active exercises, slowly introduce more physical activities like jogging, swimming, cycling, or yoga. Beginning with general cardio activities is best; still, continue to avoid abdominal exercises and heavy weight lifting.

When to Reintroduce Abdominal Exercises and Intense Weight Training

After about 12 weeks, most patients are ready to reintroduce abdominal exercises and intense weight training. The reason that patients must wait so long is due to the intense trauma of tightening the stomach muscles. Your stomach muscles will not be ready for crunches, sit-ups, or core exercises until at least 12 weeks after your tummy tuck procedure. Intense weight lifting can also put undue pressure on your core muscles, which is why it is important to put off weight training until 12 weeks after surgery. When you reintroduce these activities, do so gradually, and listen to your body. You will feel it if you are pushing yourself too hard. Gradually building your endurance will safely reintroduce your body to the appropriate exercises to keep your newly trimmed waistline looking fit and toned.

For more information about tummy tuck surgery and how to exercise after your procedure, contact Southwest Plastic Surgery in El Paso to schedule your personal consultation. Call (915) 590-7900 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with us today.

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