The short answer, according to the medical community, is: it depends. There are general guidelines, but you should always listen to your plastic surgeon as they will take into account your starting point in terms of your general health and fitness levels and also how extensive surgery was.
Here’s a general guide to what you can – and can’t – do in the gym or in the park as your recover from tummy tuck surgery. Remember, this is a general guide, and should be treated as such. Your surgeon – the person who has gone in there and examined your abdomen – knows what has been done to you, and how far down the line you are to complete recovery.
Exercising immediately after a tummy tuck
All reputable surgeons agree that complete rest over the first two weeks following surgery is essential, as you undergo a period called ‘wound healing’. It’s not like you’ll want to exert yourself, whether you want to or not: you’ll be undergoing a degree of discomfort, soreness and fatigue in the first few weeks.
However, you will be expected to ‘get back on the horse’ within the first 24 hours after treatment by getting up, walking around, and keeping mobile. Nothing too strenuous, but walking helps to improve circulation, therefore decreasing the chance of tummy tuck risks developing, such as a blood clot. Improved circulation also benefits the body’s natural healing process.
If you feel you have to bend forward to avoid further discomfort, don’t panic: that’s an entirely natural response. You are strongly advised to avoid heavy lifting, intense cardio activities, and anything which will put pressure on your abs during this period, especially if you’ve had your stomach muscles tightened – the tissues around the muscles require time to heal.
Exercising a month after a tummy tuck
After four to six week, the vast majority of the soreness and fatigue will have disappeared, so it’s time to hit the gym again, right? Wrong, according to most surgeons. Even if you were the most active bunny in the gym before your procedure, you still might not be ready to get stuck in to the weights – and at best, and if your surgeon has approved it, you will be encouraged to slowly dip a toe into mid-level activities such as yoga, jogging, swimming and cycling. Again, you’ll be strongly advised to avoid heavy lifting and abdominal exercises
Exercising three months after a tummy tuck
After twelve weeks, most clients will be ready to mix abdominal exercises and intense weight training into their exercise regime, because your core stomach muscles will finally be ready to take on the demands of heavy exercise. You will be advised to start these exercises gradually, and to listen to your body at all times, gradually rebuilding your endurance levels to ensure that you can transition into your pre-surgery exercise levels as smoothly – and safely – as possible.
If you have more questions about any aspect of the tummy tuck procedure, please call us on 0117 325 5034 to arrange a Bristol tummy tuck consultation.