The amount of time required before you can resume exercising after breast surgery depends on a variety of factors, including your body’s innate healing ability, the type of breast surgery performed, and how carefully you follow post-operative care instructions. In general, most women are able to engage in cardio exercise within a month, but it may take six weeks or longer before heavy lifting and chest exercises can be resumed.
Dr. Pozner will carefully monitor your recovery and let you know when it is safe to begin ramping up your exercise routine. It’s crucial that you listen to your body when you first start working out again. Take it easy during your first few workouts after breast surgery, and see how your body feels the next day. If you experience swelling or pain after exercising, it’s most likely a sign that you should wait a little longer.
Keep in mind that pushing yourself before you’re physically ready can negatively impact your outcome. Starting with lower intensity exercises and gradually moving towards more strenuous workouts is always the best approach.
First Two Weeks after Breast Surgery
Dr. Pozner believes it’s important to resume light activity as soon as you feel up to it. Whether you undergo breast augmentation, a breast lift or breast reduction, you should engage in light walking as soon as possible. This can generally occur the night of surgery or the following day, depending on how you feel.
This light movement provides several important benefits:
- It facilitates blood circulation and reduces your risk of blood clots
- It ensures oxygen is properly distributed throughout your body
- It releases endorphins which can help alleviate discomfort and improve your mood
In addition to light walking, it’s also important to begin moving your arms within a day or two of surgery to prevent stiffness. While this light movement is a crucial part of the healing process, it’s important that you get plenty of rest during the first two weeks after surgery and refrain from cardio and other strenuous exercises.
Two to Four Weeks after Breast Surgery
After two weeks, you should be able to resume most normal activities, including returning to work. In addition, you can generally resume light exercise during this phase of your recovery. However, make sure you receive clearance from Dr. Pozner before reintroducing exercises into your routine.
During this time period, make sure you stick to light exercise, and all workouts should focus on your abdomen and lower body. Light cardio activities such as walking on a treadmill (with incline) are encouraged, as are low-intensity lower body exercises. Make sure you wear a supportive bra whenever you are exercising.
Four Weeks after Breast Surgery
After about a month, you should usually be able to resume most exercise. Everyone heals at a different rate, so you should always wait until Dr. Pozner says it’s safe to being working out again.
Full cardio workouts should be fine at this point in time. You can also do yoga. However, you will still need to avoid chest exercises and heavy lifting at this point in time. Dr. Pozner will recommend the proper supportive bra to ensure your exercise routine doesn’t adversely impact healing.
Six Weeks after Breast Surgery
You should be able to return to your full workout routine after about six weeks. Always take it easy the first few times you incorporate chest exercises and heaving lifting back into your routine. Start with lighter weights than you used prior to breast surgery, and gradually increase the weight as your body is able to handle it.
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