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Workout after a surgery – when to start?

Having a surgery is never a pleasant experience. It's a stress to our body, so we must be careful during the recovery. The secret is to find a balance between doing some easy exercises in order to keep the blood flow and minding the fact that our body will need a longer period of time before it's completely ready for our usual workouts.

Here are some most frequent surgeries that people have to undergo and the time needed to pass before they can come back to their usual physical activities.

Knee injury and operations

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear is one of the most common injuries for athletes and other sports professionals, but it can happen to anybody who works out regularly. If this injury happened to you, too, you need to know that the most important period of recovery is immediately after the surgery and a gradual pressure you will be putting on your body in the months to come. The aim is to enhance your mobility and strengthen the muscles around the knee so that you manage to use 100% of your knee again.

The crucial thing is to be aware of the fact that full athletic activity won't be possible the first three months after the surgery, and light jogging is only thing allowed as an initial activity after 12 weeks are up, gradually preparing your knee for the real thing. In the first two weeks, it's good to do hamstring and calf stretches on the floor to regain full knee extension. In the weeks to come, all of the exercises will have to be done sitting or lying, and climbing will be allowed only after 6 weeks after the surgery.

Abdominal surgery and recovery

Exercise is important after an abdominal surgery because abdomen muscles weaken due to the incision in the muscle and fascia. There are some exercises that you need to do after the surgery, but also some that you'll have to avoid for a couple of weeks.

Moving your ankles up and down is doable even while still in bed, and walking should be done with the help of a nurse or a doctor. Buttocks lifts and head lifts are also allowed and very useful, but head lifts should be done 14 days after the surgery, not earlier.

Intermedium or light workouts can start within 6-8 weeks after the surgery, depending on how you feel and what your doctor's opinion is. However, keep in mind that there are cases when people have to wait for even more to become fully physically active.

Plastic surgery and recovery

Many experts in plastic surgery stress out the need to rest after any plastic surgery, as the body will swell and look bruised. Regarding the face and nose surgeries, exercises can be done even after 10 days (in case of an eyelid or brow lift surgery) or up to 3 weeks (after facelift, neck lift or rhinoplasty). On the other hand, breast augmentation, for example, sometimes needs you to wait a bit longer than 3 weeks before full -time exercise, but a light spin can be done after two weeks or so.

Postnatal workout

Women who gave birth are in a similar situation like patients that went through an abdominal surgery, at least when it comes to the period after they can go back to light exercises. For most women, 6-8 weeks after giving birth is a good time to start with the workout, but avoiding intensive exercises. Light Pilates at the beginning is a perfect choice.

All in all

The body needs to be given the opportunity to heal, so you shouldn't rush it under any circumstances. Maybe you will need even more time after you are completely ready for the usual workout, but that's ok, too - you need to listen to what your body tells you.

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