Exercise after Mummy Makeover – Top Tips

Timeline for Resuming Exercise after Mummy Makeover

After undergoing a Mummy Makeover, some women are keen to return to their exercise routines to aid in their recovery and maintain the results of their surgery. A Mummy Makeover typically involves procedures such as abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, or liposuction to help restore the shape and appearance of a woman’s body after childbirth. Exercise plays a significant role in the recovery process, helping to improve circulation, reduce swelling, and strengthen muscles. However, it’s essential to approach exercise with caution to avoid complications and ensure the best possible outcome from your surgery.

From the initial gentle exercises to gradually reintroducing more intensive workouts, Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anthony MacQuillan is here to ensure you have all the information you need to make exercise a beneficial part of your recovery after Mummy Makeover and beyond.

Preparing for Exercise Post-Mummy Makeover

Before starting any exercise regimen after your Mummy Makeover, the first and most important step is to get clearance from Anthony. Your body has undergone significant changes, and it’s essential to ensure that you’re healed enough to begin physical activity without risking your health or the results of your surgery.

It’s also important to listen closely to your body during this time. Each person’s recovery journey is unique, and what works for one individual may not be suitable for another. Begin with very light activities and gradually increase the intensity as you feel more comfortable and as your doctor advises.

Taking necessary precautions before starting exercise is equally important. Ensure you’re wearing appropriate clothing that supports and doesn’t press too uncomfortably on your surgery sites. For example, a well-fitted support bra is essential after breast surgery to provide the necessary support during physical activity.

Why Exercise during Mummy Makeover Recovery

Exercise after a Mummy Makeover isn’t just about getting back into shape or maintaining the results of your surgery; it plays a critical role in your recovery process. Engaging in physical activity helps to enhance circulation throughout the body, which is vital for healing. Improved blood flow ensures that nutrients and oxygen are efficiently delivered to the tissues, aiding in the repair and regeneration of cells. Additionally, exercise can help to reduce swelling, a common post-surgery issue, by facilitating the removal of excess fluids from the body.

Strengthening your muscles through targeted exercises is also beneficial. After surgery, certain muscles, especially in the abdomen and pelvic floor, may be weakened. Gentle, focused exercises can help to rebuild these muscles, supporting your recovery and contributing to a stronger core. A stronger core not only aids in a quicker recovery but also helps to improve posture and reduce the risk of back pain.

Moreover, exercise can have positive effects on your mental health during the recovery period. It can be challenging to deal with the physical limitations and changes to your body post-surgery. Engaging in physical activity has been shown to release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters, helping to alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. This mental boost can be incredibly beneficial in keeping you motivated and positive throughout the recovery journey.

What You Need to Know about the Immediate Post-Operative Period

The initial weeks following your Mummy Makeover are an important period for healing, and understanding what to expect and how to care for yourself during this time is key to a successful recovery. Immediately after surgery, your body needs time to heal and adjust to the changes.

During the first few weeks post-op, it’s important to avoid any strenuous activities or anything that might strain your surgical sites. Anthony will provide specific guidelines based on the procedures you’ve undergone, but generally, heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, and even certain daily activities may need to be avoided to prevent complications such as bleeding, swelling, or separation of the incisions.

Rest plays a role in your recovery. Ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep and are resting in a comfortable position that does not put pressure on your surgery sites. You may need to adjust your sleeping position or use pillows for support based on the type of surgery you’ve had.

It’s also essential to stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet to support your body’s healing process. Proper nutrition can significantly affect your recovery speed and the overall outcome of your surgery. Focus on foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins that aid in tissue repair and reduce inflammation.

Gentle Exercises to Resume Physical Activity After Mummy Makeover

As you enter the initial phase of reintroducing exercise after your Mummy Makeover, starting with gentle, low-impact activities is crucial. Walking is an excellent way to begin. It’s low-impact, can be easily adjusted to your energy levels, and helps to promote circulation, which is vital for reducing swelling and encouraging healing. Start with short, leisurely walks, gradually increasing the distance as your strength and stamina improve. Remember, the goal is to stay active and promote healing, not to reach pre-surgery fitness levels immediately.

Light stretching is another beneficial activity during this phase. It can help maintain flexibility, ease stiffness, and improve your range of motion, which might be limited following surgery. Focus on gentle stretches without any pulling or straining on your surgical areas. Specific stretches might be recommended by your surgeon or a physiotherapist to target areas that need the most care.

Deep breathing exercises are also highly beneficial during the early recovery stages. They can help improve lung capacity, which may be temporarily reduced due to limited mobility and pain post-surgery. Additionally, deep breathing helps to relax the body, reduce stress, and promote better sleep, all of which are important for a smooth recovery.

When to Resume More Intensive Exercises After Mummy Makeover

Once you’ve comfortably managed gentle exercises and Anthony has given you the go-ahead, you can start incorporating more intensive exercises into your routine. This phase typically involves gradually adding cardiovascular activities and low-impact strength training to build endurance and muscle tone without overly stressing your body.

  • Cardio exercises like cycling on a stationary bike or using an elliptical trainer can be good options. These activities increase your heart rate and improve blood flow, aiding in recovery and fat loss, without putting too much strain on your surgical sites. Keep the intensity moderate, focusing on consistency rather than pushing your limits.
  • Low-impact strength training, especially with the use of resistance bands or light weights, can help rebuild muscle strength and support the areas affected by surgery. Focus on exercises that strengthen the core and pelvic floor but be mindful of any movements that put direct pressure on your abdomen or chest, especially if you’ve had abdominoplasty or breast surgery.
  • Core strengthening exercises are particularly important but should be approached with caution. Initially, avoid traditional crunches or any exercise that can strain the abdominal muscles. Instead, opt for modified, surgery-safe versions of core exercises.

Returning to Pre-Surgery Exercise Routine

Reaching the point where you can consider returning to your pre-surgery exercise routine is a significant milestone in your recovery. However, it’s essential to approach this phase with care and understanding that your body might respond differently to exercise than it did before your Mummy Makeover. Evaluating your readiness involves not just feeling physically capable but also having the approval of your healthcare provider based on your healing progress and any ongoing adjustments your body is making.

As you reintroduce more strenuous forms of exercise, be mindful of the changes in your body and the impact of your surgical procedures. You may find that certain activities feel different or more challenging than before. It’s important to adjust your exercise routine to accommodate these changes. This might mean modifying your workouts to be less intense or focusing on different areas of the body while you gradually build up strength and endurance in areas affected by surgery.

Implementing strategies for safe and effective exercise is key during this phase. This includes warming up properly before engaging in any strenuous activity, using appropriate support garments to protect areas that have undergone surgery, and ensuring you stay hydrated and nourished to support your body’s increased demands during exercise.

“Listening to your body remains paramount. If you experience any pain, discomfort, or unusual symptoms during or after exercise, it’s crucial to stop immediately and consult with us” says Mr Macquillan. “We might suggest further modifications to your routine or recommend additional recovery time before attempting certain activities”.

Special Exercises after Breast Surgery

After breast surgery, part of your Mummy Makeover, special consideration must be given to exercises that involve the upper body. Safe upper body workouts are essential to prevent complications and ensure the integrity of your surgical results. Initially, focus on exercises that do not put direct strain on the chest or upper body. Gradually, as healing progresses, you can introduce light exercises targeting the arms and shoulders, ensuring not to overload the chest muscles.

Protecting your breast surgery results while exercising involves wearing a supportive sports bra that provides adequate support without being overly restrictive. This helps to minimise movement and reduces the risk of discomfort or damage to the surgical area. It’s also important to avoid high-impact activities that involve bouncing or jarring motions until fully cleared by your healthcare provider.

Considering arm lifts, if included in your Mummy Makeover, special attention should be paid to the healing of incisions. Start with very gentle, low-impact movements to maintain flexibility without stressing the surgical sites. Over time, as your recovery progresses, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts, always paying close attention to how your body responds to ensure you’re not overdoing it.

Special Exercises after Abdominoplasty

Initially, core exercises should be approached with caution, avoiding any movements that place undue stress on the abdominal muscles.

Safeguarding your abdominoplasty results involves adhering to a carefully structured exercise regime. Begin with pelvic tilts and deep breathing exercises to gently engage and strengthen the core muscles. As you gain strength and receive approval from your surgeon, you can introduce more challenging exercises, such as modified planks and leg lifts, ensuring you do not strain the surgical area.

Lower body workouts can complement your core strengthening routine by improving overall stability and balance. Exercises such as squats and lunges can be performed with or without weights, depending on your recovery stage and strength. It’s important to maintain proper form to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on your abdomen, which could jeopardise your healing process.

Yoga and Pilates after Mummy Makeover Surgery

Incorporating yoga and Pilates into your recovery journey after a Mummy Makeover can offer significant benefits. Both disciplines focus on core strength, flexibility, and mindfulness, which can aid in your physical and mental recovery. Yoga and Pilates exercises are generally low-impact and can be easily modified to accommodate your healing process, making them an excellent choice for gently reintroducing physical activity.

The benefits of yoga and Pilates post-surgery include improved muscle tone and flexibility, enhanced circulation, and stress reduction. These practices encourage a mindful connection between body and breath, promoting relaxation and aiding in pain management. When starting, it’s important to choose gentle, restorative yoga poses or beginner Pilates exercises that do not strain your surgical areas. Over time, as your strength and flexibility improve, you can gradually explore more challenging poses and exercises.

Recommended poses and movements in yoga might include modified child pose, leg lifts, and gentle stretches that do not put pressure on the abdomen or chest. In Pilates, focus on exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and deep core muscles without causing strain. It’s important to work with a qualified instructor who is aware of your surgical history and can provide necessary modifications.

FAQs about Exercise after Mummy Makeover

How long after my Mummy Makeover should I wait before I can start exercising?

  • The timeframe before you can start exercising again varies depending on the extent of your surgery and your individual healing process. Generally, you might begin gentle walking within a few days after surgery to promote circulation. However, for more strenuous exercises, it’s usually recommended to wait 6 to 8 weeks or until your surgeon gives you the go-ahead.

Can exercise improve the scars from my Mummy Makeover?

  • While exercise itself won’t directly improve the appearance of scars, staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can support your overall skin health and aid in the healing process. Keeping your body moving increases blood flow, which can help nourish your skin and potentially improve the appearance of scars over time. Additionally, wearing proper support and following Anthony’s care instructions are crucial for minimising scar visibility.

Are there specific exercises I should avoid after a Mummy Makeover?

  • Yes, certain exercises should be avoided, especially in the early stages of recovery. High-impact activities, heavy lifting, and exercises that strain the abdominal area, such as traditional sit-ups or heavy weightlifting, should be avoided until Anthony confirms your body has healed sufficiently. The key is to reintroduce activities gradually and avoid any movements that cause discomfort or strain on your surgical sites.

How will I know if I’m pushing myself too hard when I resume exercise after my Mummy Makeover?

  • Your body will give you signals if you’re pushing too hard. Signs to watch for include increased swelling, pain around the surgical sites, bleeding, or any fluid leakage. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to stop exercising immediately and consult Anthony. It’s better to err on the side of caution and progress more slowly than to risk complications by overexerting yourself.

Further Reading about Surgery with Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anthony MacQuillan

Medical References about Exercise after Mummy Makeover