How Long After Breast Implants Should You Wait to Exercise?


Breast augmentation surgery is normally a minimal enough procedure that patients are sent home the same day. Though the first day or so may be painful, many women falsely believe they can quickly return to their normal exercise routines. This isn't the case; the chest area needs time to heal before most rigorous activities can be resumed. While your surgeon will know best, there are a few general rules and time lines that can ease your transition back into exercising.

Woman wearing bra
Woman wearing bra (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Three Days Before Long Walks

The first three days after your breast augmentation procedure should be spent resting. This time will allow you to minimize your pain, discomfort and other possible complications. Dr. Lori L. Cherup of Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Radiance Plastic Surgery notes that after about three days patients who are feeling well can begin to take walks. The length of these walks don't matter as much as their speed. This is because women's breasts tend to bounce when the body is in full motion; as the speed and intensity increase, so does the bounce. Therefore, it's best to walk slowly and avoid obstacles like long staircases or steep hills, which may force women to gain some momentum. If you're unsure of yourself or of your strength level post-surgery, you can start by taking short walks around the backyard or neighborhood. You can gradually increase the distance of these walks during the first week after surgery. Seven to 10 days after the procedure, you will likely have a follow-up appointment with your cosmetic surgeon, who can advise if you are clear to continue your regimen.

Woman walking by lake
Woman walking by lake (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Three Weeks Before Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic activity affects more than just the parts of the body you're trying to exercise. It actually affects your body's chemistry, your heart beats faster and your blood pressure rises. Though normally a good thing, Dr. Cherup warns that elevated blood pressure can cause delayed bleeding in your breasts. This event commonly occurs between day 14 and day 21 following surgery. It's important to remember that even after the three-week mark you may still experience some pain, discomfort or tenderness when engaging in aerobic activities, especially running or jumping. These side effects may be uncomfortable, but they cannot damage your implants. The easiest way to remedy these effects is to provide the proper breast support by wearing a sports bra, fitted athletic top with built-in support or a well-wrapped Ace bandage.

Woman in aerobic class
Woman in aerobic class (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Four to Six Weeks Before Weight Lifting

Many women include weight lifting and strength training in their exercise routines. Unfortunately, these activities can place a lot of strain on the pectoral muscles and the surgical site. These activities should be avoided for at least four to six weeks following surgery, according to the physicians at the Palm Harbor Plastic Surgery Centre in Palm Harbor, Fla. This time frame should allow for the breasts to fully heal. Other activities similar to weight lifting also should be avoided. These include moving heavy objects in your home or performing any exercises that place your weight squarely on your arms and chest, such as push-ups and lateral arm lifts. Lifting your arms above your head also should be avoided for at least four weeks after surgery.

Woman with weights
Woman with weights (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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