A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure that requires adequate healing time. However, it is common for patients to want to know when they can resume exercise and what types of exercise is best to keep their new tummy in the best condition. You may be surprised to know that core exercises, such as Pilates or crunches, should not be attempted until roughly six months after your surgery. But there is plenty of physical activity that you can do from the day after your surgery that will help speed up your recovery. These tips will help you assess which exercises are right for you.
Encourage Blood Circulation In the First Days
From the first day after your surgery, it is important that you remain active in order to encourage blood circulation, prevent clots, and help your body begin healing. However, the definition of remaining active after a tummy tuck may be significantly different than your usual definition of remaining active. For example, pointing and flexing your toes while you lay in bed will help increase your circulation. Similarly, the simple act of sitting up with assistance, standing, and walking around your home for 10-15 minutes every few hours will help increase blood flow throughout your body.
The idea behind the first few days is to not strain yourself but to also not remain in bed the entire time. You should sit or stand when you feel up to it.
Work On Your Posture In the First Two Weeks
Immediately following the procedure, you will find that you need to walk hunched slightly forward to avoid tearing your stitches and aggravating the surgery site. Over the first two weeks, you should work slowly on lengthening your spine and returning to a neutral posture when you are sitting or standing. Again, you should not stress yourself while doing this.
This can be completed by standing up with your shoulders hunched forward. Slowly and carefully, begin straightening your spin until you feel a very slight pulling or tugging in your abdomen. Then, pause for a few seconds and release back into a hunched position. At first you may only do this once or twice, but throughout the two weeks, you can hold your posture for longer until you are walking without a hunch in your back.
Slowly Add Light Aerobic Activities to Your Schedule
As soon as you can walk fully upright without assistance, you can add light aerobic activities to your schedule. You should start with light walking for 15-30 minutes once or twice a day. However, you may find that you can quickly lengthen your walks or speed up your pace. If your doctor agrees, you can also add cycling to your schedule, but save the step aerobics or yoga for later. If you feel dizzy or feel pressure or pain in your abdomen, you should stop exercising.
Use Less Weight Than You Are Used To For Resistance Training
Once your doctor clears you for use of weights for resistance training, usually about a month after the procedure, you should begin with light weights. You might want to even start by completing the motion of each weight lifting exercise you intend to do without weights to see how your body will react to the range of motion. Then, add light weights to your workout. Eventually, you will get back to what you were lifting before your surgery, but as with every other aspect of exercise, it is important not to push yourself.
Always Consult With Your Doctor When You Change Your Routine
The two most important things you need to remember regarding exercise after a tummy tuck are to listen to your body and to consult your doctor if you are unsure about a certain exercise. Your doctor should give you a thorough list of exercises that they approve. However, if you want to engage in an activity not on the list, a quick call to your doctor's office should let you know if it is okay. For more information on a tummy tuck procedures, check out a site like http://www.cosmeticsurgeonbellevue.com.