Getting a tummy tuck is a major decision and lifestyle change. But you can get back to your workout routine in just five simple steps.
A tummy tuck can be a great step in a positive direction in restoring the look of a slim and trim midsection when diet and exercise alone can’t help.
One of the most popular cosmetic surgeries around, many people consider a tummy tuck to remove excess skin and fat after extreme weight loss or pregnancy.
Officially known as an abdominoplasty, it can repair and tighten abdominal muscles and create the appearance of a slim, smooth, and trim waistline.
While a tummy tuck is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, it is still an invasive surgery, and patients need to pay careful attention during their recovery period.
Proper recovery depends on fully understanding and following all post-op instructions and restrictions, and usually, patients require at least two months before they can resume regular activity.
However, if you listen to your doctor and your body, you can – slowly and carefully – begin exercising after four weeks.
Here’s a helpful guide to rebuilding your exercise routine in the months following your tummy tuck.
Working Out After A Tummy Tuck
First: make sure you’re ready!
You will need some significant downtime after your surgery, and while you may get back to a daily routine more quickly, it may take a while until you feel normal again enough to exercise.
Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions during the recovery period.
If you no longer require pain medications, normal eating and sleeping patterns are resumed, and you can do light household routines, you are ready to start lightly exercising again.
Remember, though, to always check with your doctor and make sure you are cleared for activity!
Ready to go? Here are five steps to help you get back to your workout routine after a tummy tuck procedure:
1. Start Slow With Walking (2-4 Weeks Post-Surgery)
After 2-4 weeks, you may be ready for some light walks. Try going on one or two daily for 10 to 15 minutes, and try and slowly begin to increase your pace and duration.
Plus, it’s a great way to relax and get some fresh air!
2. Ramp Up The Cardio (4-6 Weeks)
If you’re ready to move on to the next step – usually after 4-6 weeks, try ramping up your cardio. Be careful and stay low-impact.
Treadmills are a great option as you can focus on increasing your speed, incline, and duration of your workout.
You may also consider a stationary bike. However, stay upright – a recumbent model may feel too uncomfortable on your still-recovering stomach and could set back your recovery.
3. Add In Some Strength Training (6-8 Weeks)
After any remaining bandages are removed – usually 6-8 weeks post-surgery – you may feel ready to be a little more active.
At this point, you can consider adding in some strength training for your upper body and legs, which will all help support your core.
Avoid strenuous activity or lifting and focus more on free weights or range-of-motion exercises such as art raises and leg lifts.
However, please remember to avoid anything that will strain your abdominal muscles!
4. Start To Strengthen Your Core (Up To 6 Months)
Even though your muscles may feel fully-healed beforehand, most doctors advise waiting up to 6 months or more to incorporate abdominal-specific exercises like crunches or anything that specifically targets your core or is more strenuous.
Again, listen to your body and slowly incorporate some gentle stretching into your routine. Planks and swimmers are also great lower-impact exercises to rebuild core strength during this time.
5. Resuming Your Regular Workout
Maybe it will take some months of recovery and slow training, but returning to a regular full-body and high-impact workout after a tummy tuck is possible!
Remember to continue to check in with your doctor and build up each step of the way.
Light stretching and twists will be essential for your abdominal muscles and remember to take care when doing intensive core exercises.
While it’s not a replacement for dieting and exercise, a tummy tuck can be an excellent option for removing excess skin and fat after extreme weight loss or getting your pre-baby body back.
Just remember to follow your doctor’s instructions and listen to your body while rebuilding your exercise routine.
With proper diet and exercise following your tummy tuck procedure, you’ll be able to enjoy long-lasting results!