The recovery period after cosmetic surgery can be particularly difficult for those leading an active lifestyle. Hours of laying down and resting can make you feel useless and, sometimes, even more uncomfortable. However, the resting period is necessary for the body to recuperate. Try to rest as much as you can within the first 48 hours, after which you can slowly increase your activity level but without pushing yourself. The first 2 weeks should only include light cardio such as walking or cycling but making sure that it does not affect your heart rate.
Of course, you should always follow any post-op recovery instructions from your surgeon to the letter, and any recovery recommendations will vary somewhat depending on the procedure you had done.
After a Liposuction
Liposuction recovery period can last up to 6 months. This does not mean that you will have to stay put for this period of time, but simply that it can take that long for the full results to show and swelling to entirely go away.
Very light cardio can be engaged in during the second and the third week. After that, you may increase the activity level slightly for the following 2 weeks. Wait until week 5 or 6, depending on how you feel, before you move onto more demanding exercises such as running and weightlifting, but only about half of what you used to. Keep your workout light for the following couple of weeks.
Always check with your surgeon and be open about the level of activities you are planning on resuming and ask whether they think it is appropriate for you. The best types of exercises are those that will help you stay fit and maintain the look you have achieved with liposuction.
After a Facial Rejuvenation Surgery
Regardless of the type of facial rejuvenation surgery you had, it’s easy to think (incorrectly) that because the treatment area was localized, surgery didn’t truly affect your body as a whole, and you can jump right back into your normal routine.
In reality, the first month of recovery period after a facelift or other facial surgery should involve no exercising. The blood vessels below your skin could easily bleed due to elevated blood pressure or heart rate and cause a hematoma to appear. Light cardio is allowed only after the first month, pending your surgeon’s permission.
After a Rhinoplasty
Activity during the first 6 weeks following nose surgery should be limited to light walks around your neighborhood. Make sure you do not push yourself and do not lose breath. Blood vessels in your nose will still be very sensitive during this time and elevated blood pressure could cause nosebleeds. Even if the idea of a nosebleed doesn’t bother you too much, be aware that you could also cause damage to the still-fragile bones in your nose. Healing can take up to 6 weeks, so too much activity could jeopardize your final results.
After an Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty recovery can take longer than other types of plastic surgery as it involves muscle repair. Since most exercises involve core muscles, you will need to put them off for at least 4 weeks and likely longer. After the initial 4 weeks have passed, you can start with very light cardio and gradually move on to moderate cardio training. Later, you can add light resistance exercises and stay at that level for about 2 weeks before you can move onto core exercises once your surgeon gives you the green light.
After Breast Augmentation
Recovery after breast augmentation includes the need to baby your chest muscles. Within the first month post-op, you can do light lower body exercises as well as moderate cardio that does not involve arm movements. You can use the elliptical workout as well as cycling, but again, no arm movements. A nice workaround is to look for stationary bicycles online to use in your home and simply focus on keeping your lower body mildly active. After keeping your upper body still for about 4 weeks, check back in with your surgeon about incorporating light arm workouts and eventually moving on to the chest.
Don’t Push Your Recovery after Any Plastic Surgery
Preparing for a surgery is stressful on its own. This is why most of us strive to get back to our old routine as quickly as possible, but even if we feel mentally ready, our bodies are not. Do not push yourself, particularly if it is against your doctor’s advice. Bruising, swelling or pain are clear signs that you need to take it easy.
Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.