People considering a tummy tuck are often anxious about the recovery process, especially how quickly they can resume working out. That’s understandable since a full abdominoplasty requires 2 to 3 weeks of downtime, and the desire to enjoy your newly sculpted midsection as soon as possible is strong.
Rest assured that you’ll be back to exercising eventually, but you’ll need to work back up to your usual level of intensity. You likely have many questions as you gradually resume your daily routine post-tummy tuck. In this blog post, I’ll answer some of the most common questions about how soon you can exercise and other tummy tuck recovery questions.
How Soon Can I Work Out After My Tummy Tuck?
You can start a low-intensity exercise approximately 4 weeks after your tummy tuck, as long as your plastic surgeon approves. Ease into your activity, beginning with light cardiovascular exercises such as walking or stationary cycling that will get your heart pumping but won’t interfere with the healing process.
You are probably impatient to jump back into heavy lifting, but strenuous workouts may strain your incisions. You should always consult your plastic surgeon before resuming any type of workout routine.
Should I Be Active Immediately After My Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Yes, you should be gently moving your body immediately after your tummy tuck procedure. Move your feet and legs every so often while you’re resting. Get up and walk to another room (with help) once every waking hour. Your midsection will feel tight, and you will walk slightly hunched over at first, but movement is important. This movement early on helps with blood circulation, which boosts the healing process. Gentle walking will also help oxygen flow through your body and keep blood clots from forming.
When Can I Resume My Normal Workout Routine?
Typically, you can resume your normal workout routine at around 7 to 10 weeks after your tummy tuck if your surgeon has cleared you for exercise. However, this does not include dedicated core exercises such as planks, sit-ups, or crunches, which you will want to wait to attempt for at least 3 months. You should start slow and pay careful attention to how your body responds to these strenuous exercises.
What Can I Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery?
Immediately after your procedure, you should expect some discomfort around your midsection and will need someone to drive you home. You will also need someone to help you around the house as you may have trouble standing and moving for a couple of weeks. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on what pain medications to take to manage any discomfort.
The first few days after you are home, you will need to sleep with your upper body elevated to avoid strain on your incisions. You may have a drain in place and wear a compression garment to help minimize swelling. If you want more details about what to expect during tummy tuck recovery, here is a helpful blog from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
A tummy tuck is a great way to achieve a flatter midsection, but you will need to give your body time to heal from the procedure before heading back to the gym. Most people believe the trade-off of time away from exercise is well worth the procedure’s excellent results. You can see some of my patients’ tummy tuck results in their before and after pictures.