One of the most important aspects of any plastic surgery procedure, and specifically a breast augmentation, is the recovery process. A common question I hear from many of my Austin patients is, “How long until I can get back to the gym?” I know — I have some pretty dedicated patients, don’t I?

While I am thrilled with their commitment to a healthy lifestyle, it is important that I remind them to take a step back, because they are, in fact, recovering from an invasive procedure, and any immediate fitness goals will have to take a back seat for a few weeks. For those who get restless just thinking about a break, here’s my guide for getting back to the gym in an appropriate amount of time after your procedure.

    1. Rest … Seriously. Most fitness devotees will have the toughest time with this part of the recovery process, however, it is hands-down the most important part. For the first few days after your procedure, keep activity very light and use this time as the perfect excuse to catch up on Netflix. Overuse of the pectoral muscles during this time can cause serious complications, so asking someone else to reach for the remote for you wouldn’t be a ridiculous request.

    1. Ease Into It. After those first few days of R&R, you’ll want to get moving a bit, but be smart about it. Start by taking short walks. Be careful to limit arm movement and avoid bouncing (sorry, no running yet). Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll be ready to get back to the gym, but again, keep it low impact. Think yoga or light elliptical sessions versus high-intensity interval training on the treadmill. Keep the focus on your lower body, at least for the first 3 weeks.You can start with light arm workouts at this point focusing on bicep and tricep isolation excercises.  Light weights, perfect form and high reps are the key to keeping your body in shape during this time.

  1. Now, Go for It. Once fully healed, typically about 3 months after surgery, patients can get back into their normal fitness routines, including complete upper body work, as they feel comfortable. Most women find that their exercise regimens are not impacted by breast implants. Running and high impact exercise can be started at this point. You should still be able to run and do other high-impact activities, but talk with your plastic surgeon just to be sure. You may need to up your sports bra game.

The gist is that recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll have plenty of time to get back to the gym, but for now, your focus should be on recovering smart. That, and the new workout tops you’ll be buying.

Do you know any other low-impact workout tips that are great for the recovery period? Share them in a comment below.

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