One of the most exciting aspects of a breast augmentation is the newfound confidence you’ll feel in your body. You’ll be eager and maybe impatient to show off your results: perhaps you’ve bought a form-fitting dress for an upcoming event, you can’t wait to break out your new bikini or you’ve already blocked out time to go lingerie shopping. You’ll doubtless be very ready to feel beautiful and sexy.
You might also be feeling motivated to keep working on your whole physique. Having confidence in your appearance often means you’ll get excited about exercising and eating well, instead of getting frustrated that you don’t see the results you want. But before you plan to jumpstart your fitness routine in the weeks and months after your surgery, you should find out when it will be safe to start working out again and learn more about what kinds of exercises you’ll be able to do.
Exercising During Breast Augmentation Recovery
Drs. Mark and Loren Clayman provide hundreds of these procedures; in our offices, breast augmentations are outpatient procedures that don’t require an overnight stay. Although you’ll be feeling somewhat sore in the days following your surgery and you should be careful not to tire yourself out, we do recommend that you remember to stay lightly active throughout your recovery. Beginning the day after your procedure, you should try to take short walks around the house every hour or so to stretch your legs. The movement will help keep your blood flowing, which prevents blood clots and promotes faster healing.
You’ll also need to be more careful when it comes to upper body motions. Your sutures will be fragile for the first week, and you should try not to make gestures or movements that put stress on the surgical area. For example, we often recommend wearing button-up shirts for a while so you won’t need to pull anything over your head. You should also avoid intensive activities like jogging, running or jumping, since the impact can be harmful early in recovery.
After your sutures are removed, your scars might be prone to discomfort or stiffness, and your implants will need time to settle. In general, you should avoid lifting heavy items such as weights, furniture, pets or children for about six weeks. It’s also a good idea to wear soft, supportive undergarments that won’t chafe or dig into your breasts.
When to Exercise After Healing from Your Breast Augmentation
We typically recommend waiting two weeks before resuming low-impact cardio exercise, and up to six weeks before returning to full workouts. Every patient heals at a different pace, though, so these aren’t hard-and-fast rules. You will have regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon, who will be monitoring your healing progress and will instruct you on when it will be safe to return to certain activities. At these appointments, your surgeon will be able to clear you to resume certain types of exercise — you should be sure to wait until you receive this clearance before starting any new fitness routines.
Once you are cleared to work out, the only restrictions on your fitness routine will be based on your own comfort level. It’s most important to listen to your body; any exercises or movements that feel painful or strained should be put on hold and gently reincorporated into your routine. If you typically lift weights, for example, we often suggest starting out at a lighter weight than you are used to and building back up at a pace that feels comfortable.
We also recommend wearing a well-fitting sports bra, especially if you plan to engage in high-impact workouts. Too much movement can not only put your results at risk, but can also be uncomfortable and make exercising difficult. Many brands offer workout bras in specific band and cup sizes, which can be more supportive than generic sizing. You may also consider using specialized compression tops for exercising.
Exercise and Breast Implant Placement
The final consideration when it comes to exercising after breast augmentation is the placement of your breast implants. There are two main approaches to breast augmentation in this regard: subglandular placement and submuscular placement. In subglandular breast augmentation, the implant is placed beneath the breast tissue but over the pectoral muscle. In submuscular augmentation, the implant is placed beneath both the breast tissue and the pectoral muscle. While the recovery from subglandular augmentation is usually faster, submuscular augmentation is a popular choice because it often delivers more natural-looking results; the breast implant is more fully covered, and there’s less risk of it showing through the skin.
However, submuscular placement does mean that changes in your pectoral muscles will impact the placement and appearance of your implants. It’s sometimes recommended that breast augmentation clients who choose this method avoid exercises that will put significant strain on the pectoral muscles, such as push-ups or bench presses. Building up the pectorals can result in the implants becoming misshapen or moved out of place, which in turn might cause asymmetry, unwanted bumps or discomfort.
Otherwise, your fully healed breast augmentation should not interfere with your ability to exercise as usual. You can keep up with a healthy, active lifestyle and get a body that you’re proud to show off. If you are worried that your breast implants might interfere with activities that you currently enjoy, you should be sure to communicate this clearly to your surgeon during your initial consultation appointment. Breast augmentation is a completely customizable procedure, and there are many different ways to ensure that your augmentation improves your quality of life rather than detracting from it.
For expert breast augmentation and other plastic surgeries in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, contact Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery and Miracle Spa. Our plastic surgeons, Drs. Mark and Loren Clayman, are Harvard-educated and board-certified physicians with decades of experience performing breast and body procedures of all kinds. Schedule your consultation today to find out how we can help you achieve your aesthetic goals — call us at 904-208-2727.