How Long Should I Wait After Surgery to Work Out?



How Long Should I Wait After Surgery to Work Out?

Healing from a surgery can be a long and draining process–and the only way to speed up that process, is by being patient and letting your body rest like it needs to. That said, there comes a time when you have to start teaching your body how to move like it could before! In fact, once you’ve started healing, a post-surgery exercise routine can be as beneficial to you as resting. For instance, almost all doctors will recommend incorporating a walking routine into your recovery period as soon as 3 or 4 days after your surgery. Just don’t push yourself too hard!

Plastic Surgery

Most doctors will also recommend very light stretching techniques into your daily routine in the week after your procedure. This will help you avoid muscle shortening during the recovery process.

The most important things to remember when integrating exercise back into your life post-surgery, are to take it slow, and to always consult your surgeon on what activities you can and can’t do. In general, most doctors will give restrictions like “no heavy lifting (more than 10 lbs) for four weeks” and “no high impact or strenuous activity for six weeks.” It’s absolutely vital that you follow these guidelines, since even if your body is feeling back to normal after a week or two, you run the risk of breaking stitches or causing internal damage. That said, just because you can’t do certain exercises doesn’t mean you can’t do others. For instance, if you’ve had upper-body surgery and are banned from jogging for the next month, try hopping on the stationary bike instead.

When it comes down to it, after you’ve consulted with your doctor, the key part of getting back on track with your work-out routine after surgery, is listening to your body. For instance, even if your surgeon gives you a 4-week timeline, this doesn’t mean that you should circle the date on your calendar and hit the gym first thing in the morning if you’re still in pain. Everybody’s body is different, and every body heals at a different pace.

As restless and eager to get back into your daily exercise routine as you might be, it’s more important that you give your body the time it needs to get back into tip top shape. Be patient, start slow, listen to your doctor and yourself, and you’ll be running, weight-lifting, and swimming in no time!

April 9, 2014

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