After a breast augmentation, as with any surgical procedure, it’s important to incorporate gentle, physical activity, as movement helps stimulate blood circulation, which promotes healing. However, it’s essential to be aware of what type of movement is safe, and what type of exercise can potentially compromise the results of your breast augmentation procedure.
Following your breast augmentation surgery, you will be able to exercise, but not immediately — you will need to prioritize rest and recovery before you resume your regular exercise regimen. However, there are still gentle activities, like walking, you can participate in until your procedure has fully healed.
What Is Breast Augmentation Surgery?
Breast augmentation surgery, also known as a boob job, is a type of cosmetic surgery that increases the breasts’ size, fullness, and symmetry. During a breast augmentation procedure, your plastic surgeon will use implantable devices (breast implants) to create a more balanced, shapely, curvaceous, but natural and attractive figure.
The procedure is beneficial for women who want to enlarge their naturally small breasts, restore volume lost through pregnancy, or want to correct asymmetry. A breast augmentation surgery procedure can help boost self-confidence and self-image, and can improve the overall look and fit of clothing by creating a more proportionate silhouette.
What’s the Difference Between a Breast Augmentation and a Breast Lift?
While a breast augmentation is a procedure performed to increase the size, fullness, and symmetry of the breasts, a breast lift is often performed to correct drooping or sagging breasts. If your primary aesthetic concern is the low positioning — rather than the size — of your breasts, a breast lift may be more appropriate. However, it is very common for both procedures to be performed at the same time, as combining a breast augmentation and a breast lift can result in breasts that are proportionate and full, and more youthful-looking, due to the elimination of the sagging or drooping that comes with age or significant body changes such as weight loss, pregnancy, or nursing.
What Happens If You Exercise Too Soon After Breast Augmentation?
Physical activity and fitness may be an important part of your life; however, it’s essential to allow yourself to rest and recover following your breast augmentation surgery. While you may find it frustrating to take a break from your active lifestyle, remember that this period is temporary — and that proper, complication-free healing is a priority.
Exercising too much — and engaging in the wrong types of exercise — too soon after your breast augmentation can negatively affect the results of your breast augmentation. Because incisions are made into your pectoral muscles, in order to insert your breast implant, exercises that target the chest and upper body, such as weight-lifting or pushups, can result in your breast implant shifting. It’s important to allow your incision to heal, and your breast implant to securely settle in place, before engaging in strenuous upper-body strength-building exercises. Yoga, Pilates, and any stretching that opens or pulls on your chest muscles should also be avoided, as these types of exercise can result in sutures coming undone and implants becoming displaced. The rupturing of implants can also occur.
In addition, too much cardio too soon after your surgery can cause bleeding or fluid collection, resulting in the need for remedial surgery. Such strenuous exercise can delay healing, prolong swelling and bruising, and cause unnecessary pain and discomfort.
Exercises You Should Avoid Until Fully Healed
For 4-6 weeks after your breast augmentation surgery, the most strenuous exercise should be avoided. This includes:
- Yoga, Pilates, or anything involving deep stretching or pulling
- Cardiovascular activity, such as running, jogging, or cycling
- Weight training, especially weight training that targets the upper body
- Push-ups, or lifting anything weighing more than 10 pounds
- Golf, tennis, or other sports that involve frequent, strenuous use of the arms and upper body
- High impact exercise, such as HIIT
What Types of Exercise Can You Do?
For the first 1-2 weeks after your surgery, rest and recovery are of the utmost importance. However, after this initial healing period has passed, it is possible to resume some physical exercise.
Immediately After Breast Augmentation Surgery
In the weeks immediately following your breast augmentation surgery, rest is of the utmost importance. You can move around your home as necessary, but it is best to remain seated as often as possible, and get plenty of sleep. If regular exercise is a part of your life, you may be concerned about weight gain or a decline in your fitness level during this time. However, because adhering to a healthy diet free of processed, fatty, and sugary foods is also integral to your healing — and because this rest period is relatively brief — it is unlikely you will see any substantial changes. Also, it’s important to remember that allowing yourself to recover and heal will help you avoid any unnecessary complications, or the need for remedial surgery.
Two to Four Weeks After Breast Augmentation Surgery
After 1-2 weeks, it is possible for you to reintroduce some light walking, in addition to gentle cardio such as stationary biking or using a treadmill. Be sure to wear a supportive bra, and keep your pace slow and gentle. It is best to focus on low-impact activities that engage the lower body only.
Four Weeks After Breast Augmentation Surgery
After four weeks, it may be possible for you to resume low-weight upper-body strength-training exercises, such as using small hand weights. Lunges, squats and other body weight exercises that target the low body can also be resumed. Some jumping and impact exercises may be restarted, but it’s important to consult with your surgeon, as they will be able to advise on how far along in your healing process you are.
Six Weeks After Breast Augmentation Surgery
After six to eight weeks, you will likely be able to return to your regular workouts. However, before doing so, be sure to speak with your surgeon. Everyone’s body heals at a different pace, and your surgeon will be able to best advise on what type of physical activity is appropriate for you, and when you can resume your regular exercise regimen. Following your surgeon’s instructions is integral for a full, complication-free recovery.
Learn More with SpaMedica
Book a consultation with Dr. Bell today to discuss your breast augmentation options, as well as to learn more about the recovery period following this plastic surgery procedure.