Breast augmentation is something you do because you want to feel good about the way you look – part of that process is staying fit and eating right too. If you are a person who hits the gym on a regular basis, you might question how the surgery will influence that part of your life. The answer is, if you take some precautions, there is no reason you can’t stay tone and fit after breast surgery.
Talk to your Doctor
The first step is to sit down with your surgeon. Ultimately, the doctor is going to tell you when it is time to start exercising again based on your healing rate. Breast augmentation is safe and effective, but still invasive surgery. The first priority is to let your body heal to reduce the risk of infection and problematic scar formation.
On average, you can expect to spend a few days off your feet. Once the doctor says you are ready, a medical professional will discuss any limitations with you based on your progress. Some activity actually aids in healing, so your surgeon may suggest short walks to start. By the third week, you can concentrate on strength training, as well.
Adjusting to New Breast Size
There may be an adjustment period once you start exercising again. Your body has changed, in both shape and weight. When you are used to a specific balance on your chest, the change may throw you off. Your center of gravity may feel a little different at first, especially if you are a runner, swimmer or tennis player.
Tips for Getting Back to the Gym
Start slow – Stick to just walking while the incisions heal. Most exercise is too strenuous immediately after the surgery. You may feel physically able to work out, but your skin is going through a healing process.
Move to low-impact cardio exercise – Once the incision closes and the physician gives you the okay, switch to low impact exercise such as stationary biking or an elliptical machine. The skin is still tender. Too much pulling may open the incision up or lead to infection. Low-impact exercises will improve blood flow and enhance healing.
Consider arm and shoulder exercises to build strength – the weight on your chest muscles has changed. You can help counteract that by doing light arm exercises and shoulder rolls about three weeks post surgery. Be careful not to stress the chest muscles yet.
Wear a sports bra when you exercise – a firm sports bra will help stabilize the implants and reduce the impact. The healing process is two-fold: scar tissue forms around the implants to help secure them and the skin closes the incision. Too much movement can impede this restructuring.
Massage vs. exercise – depending on the placement of the implant, your doctor may assign specific massage exercises meant to help the body adjust to the new breasts. The goal is to manipulate internal scar tissue formation in order to keep the envelope around the implants soft and pliable. Ask the surgeon what exercises you can do to aid in healing and give you the most natural looking and feeling breasts possible.
Expect some discomfort – that is normal, but you should notice less each week. If you see inflammation, redness or develop a fever, stop working out and call the doctor for advice.
Breast augmentation is a positive way to improve your self-image and feel good about the way you look, but it does not come without some minor adjustments. You should approach exercise wisely after surgery to keep your new breasts safe and healthy.