How to Exercise Following Cosmetic Surgery

December 14th, 2018

At New Birkdale Clinic, we believe that an important part of a patient’s recovery following surgery is their ability to exercise safely and effectively. We know from experience that patients feel better both physically and mentally when they’re able to exercise, especially when recovering from body contouring procedures, such as liposuction. Although every patient recovers differently and you should always follow the specific advice your surgeon gives you, there are some general guidelines that you can follow, which we outline in this post. We’ll look at exercising after having a breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck or facial surgery.




Things To Remember:

  • Patients shouldn’t exercise for the first 48 hours following their surgery.
  • Don’t exercise until any swelling or bruising has subsided.
  • For the next 1-2 weeks, only engage in light exercise, such as slow walks or cycles on a treadmill or exercise bike.
  • Your body in an interconnected system and you can’t exercise in one area without affecting the other. For example, you may think a rhinoplasty only affects the nose, but exercising will raise your heart rate and increase your rate of breathing, affecting how your nose heals.


Exercising After A Breast Augmentation

The main issue when it comes to exercising following a breast augmentation is overworking the pecs, as this can interfere with how the muscle heals. However, exercise is important as it gets your blood flowing, reducing inflammation and bruising, speeding up the healing process.


Exercise We Recommend:

  • Side Lunges.
  • Bench Step Ups.
  • Squats.
  • Hammer Curls.



Do not engage in heavy lifting, weight training, or sports such as tennis or golf for at least a month following your breast augmentation.


Exercising After Liposuction

As it’s possible to regain the weight you lose after liposuction, good exercise and a healthy diet are important to maintain your new weight. Generally, we recommend only engaging in exercise when you feel recuperated and energized, which usually occurs around the 2-3 week mark post-surgery.

It’s important to know that exercising after liposuction will cause prolonged swelling to the treated areas. This doesn’t harm your body – it just takes a little longer to heal.


Exercise We Recommend:

  • Running.
  • Cycling.
  • Aerobics.
  • Exercise Ball Crunches.


Do not engage in weightlifting or high cardio exercise such as Zumba or spin classes for at least 6 weeks following liposuction.


Exercising After A Tummy Tuck

Due to the muscle repair required for exercise following a Tummy Tuck, the recovery period is considerably longer than for Liposuction. This is because most routines involve the rectus muscles around the abdomen, which are tightened during the procedure. Therefore, you should wait at least a month before engaging in any kind of exercise. After this point, you should only engage in light exercise for a further 4 weeks to allow the muscle to heal before doing routines that are more demanding.


Exercise We Recommend:

  • Short Walks.
  • The Treadmill.
  • Leg Lifts.
  • Pelvic Thrusts.



We can’t stress how important it is to give your abdomen time to heal. Otherwise, complications such as infections, blood clots and scar tissue may result in hospital visits.


Exercising After Facial Surgery

Whether you have a face lift, eyelid lift or brow lift, we recommend waiting at least 4 weeks before exercising. This is because these procedures involve operating beneath the skin where there are many blood vessels that could easily bleed with a slight increase in blood pressure. This could cause further complications, such as hematoma. After these 4 weeks, light cardio, such as walking and slow cycling is fine, and after 6 weeks, so are golf, yoga and hiking.




Regardless of your surgery, ease into exercise and listen to your surgeon’s advice. If you start experiencing pain or discomfort around the surgical area, stop your exercise immediately and have a check up to ensure that everything is ok. If you require any further information concerning this post, please contact us today as we’re only too happy to help.