Women considering breast augmentation at our Nashville, TN practice are generally conscientious about leading a healthy lifestyle, and a consistent exercise routine is a big part of that. That’s why one of the most common questions I hear during a breast enhancement consultation is, “How soon can I get back to the gym after surgery?”
With that in mind, I’ve prepared a rough timeline about what type of physical activities patients can safely perform at various stages of the recovery process. Each patient recovers at her own pace, of course, and this timeline is not meant to be taken as exact instructions. It’s important for women to listen to their bodies throughout the healing process.
Overall, I counsel my patients to be conservative as they return to their fitness routines. It’s always safe to ease back into exercise. What’s much more dangerous is to think that you feel “fine” and push yourself to perform more strenuous exercises than what is advised. That’s the kind of thinking that can actually risk compromising the results of your procedure.
Here are some general milestones to keep in mind during the recovery process:
Days 1 to 4
Make sure to get plenty of rest, but still take short, easy walks throughout the day. Walking, even on the first day after the procedure is important because it improves your blood circulation and helps promote healing.
Days 5 to 10
Moderate stretching of the lower body and longer walks are fine. You can pick up the pace of your walks if you like, but don’t overdo it. Avoid stretching the upper body beyond what is comfortable. The primary concern at this stage is overusing the pectoral muscles.
Days 10 to 14
This is when you may want to head back to the gym for the first time, but any workouts should still focus on your lower body. You can break a sweat by cycling or using the stair climber, but avoid running or any other high-impact activities.
Some low-impact cardio workouts that don’t involve running can be added to the workout. Weight training should still be limited to the legs. Use machines or free weights without straining the upper body.
4 to 6 Weeks
This is when you may gradually resume upper body strength training and return to more strenuous cardio workouts, including running. Everything you try adding to your routine should be tried on its own, and you should proceed slowly. Also avoid lifting weights over the head until you’ve recovered a full range of motion with the arms.
As I noted above, you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to exercising after breast augmentation. Limiting yourself can be a difficult task for many athletic women who have established exercise routines, but in the long run, it’s the best way to safely regain any lost strength or stamina.