Regaining a fitter, slimmer waistline can be an enormous undertaking. Many of the men and women who visit our Bloomington office to discuss tummy tuck surgery express frustration that their intense efforts have not paid off. Diet and exercise are necessary to lose weight and keep it off, but that does not mean that eating healthy and staying active will give you the exact results you want. Sometimes, you need a little help, and that’s where abdominoplasty comes in.
The Question is . . .
There is an interesting balance that must be developed after a tummy tuck. On the one hand, it takes ongoing effort to maintain the results of this procedure. On the other hand, exercise is a bit of a touchy subject simply because the abdominal wall will be a lot touchy, possibly for a lot longer than you think. Because most patients feel relatively good long before their abdominals are ready for those crunches, it is important to know your limits regarding post-abdominoplasty exercise.
2 – 4 Weeks Post-op
It’s safe to say that, for the first few weeks at least, you won’t feel much like exercising. Hitting the sheets sounds far better than hitting your yoga mat. This is a good thing. During the first weeks after a tummy tuck, the best way to care for your body is to feed it well. Walk around the house as you can, but only for a few minutes at a time. Remember, the medications you are taking could make you somewhat wobbly.
4 Weeks and Beyond
Many patients start to feel more and more like their former selves after the first month of recovery. This could quite possible be the most “dangerous” time! Feeling good does not mean your body is ready for a full-on workout. While you can add some resistance training to your list of activities (along with walking, and not much else), the weights you use should be on the lighter side. Also, move slowly and listen closely to your body. If the abdominal muscles cry out at all, stop what you’re doing. There will be plenty of time later to resume weight lifting.
Let’s Crunch some Numbers
Weeks 2-4, you will be walking. Weeks 4-12 you may slowly add strength training. But . . . The abdominal muscles should not be targeted until they have completely healed – 100%. This takes upwards of 6 months. Until that time, sit-ups and crunches, or any other exercise that stresses these muscles should be avoided. There is a risk of bleeding, as well, if the heart rate is elevated significantly (sorry, a spin class will have to wait).
Safe sounds are so much better than sorry. To learn more about abdominoplasty and the best scheduling to be ready for summertime, call 309-664-1007.