Patients who choose tummy tuck surgery at our Richmond, VA, area practice often can’t wait to return to their daily activities and start enjoying life with their new shape. For many, the confidence-boosting procedure provides the motivation to continue working on their health with exercise, so the idea of hitting the gym ASAP is an appealing one.
Easing back into exercise is a delicate aspect of the recovery process, and it’s important to take a gradual approach to make sure your incision sites heal properly and your results last for as long as possible. In this blog post, I’ll provide some insight into the exercise timeline you can expect to follow after tummy tuck surgery.
For the first couple of weeks, you should limit yourself to short, periodic walks to promote blood flow and reduce swelling. I require my patients to start walking around the house on the first day post-op and to try increasing the length of their walks each day. It’s important to move around regularly, but you shouldn’t push yourself to the point of discomfort, and you should avoid engaging your core as much as possible.
Adding in Light Cardio
After about 2 weeks and with surgeon approval, patients can begin light cardio exercises such as using a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike. You should continue to avoid exercises that engage or strain your core during this period. While you may feel stronger and feel eager to work out, your abdomen still needs time to completely heal.
Working the Arms and Legs
After about 3 weeks, patients may begin working out their arms and legs while avoiding the abdominal area. Around this time, you’ll likely be wearing surgical garments half the time, which may help you feel less limited as you get back into strength workouts.
Returning to Rigorous Exercise
After about 4 to 6 weeks, surgical garments come off completely and you may begin more intense exercises—once you feel comfortable and have consulted with your doctor. You should start off with light, easy workouts and gradually ramp it up. You may experience initial minor discomfort which will gradually decrease with time.
Taking it step-by-step as you ease back into exercise is the best way to steer clear of injuries or complications after your surgery, and it can help develop optimal results you’ll enjoy for years to come. If you have any questions throughout the recovery process, our medical team will be available to make sure you’re informed and cared for at all times.
To get an idea of the results you can expect once you fully heal, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.
If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery at our Richmond, VA, area practice, please contact us online or call (804) 267-6009 to request a consultation.