If you are an exercise enthusiast, and you’ve had a boob job (breast augmentation, sounds so serious!), no doubt you will be wanting to show off your enhanced cleavage in a brand new crop top as soon as possible (and yes that’s me staring and very jealous!). But before you schedule in your training days post op, do remember that you have just undergone surgery and there is most definitely a recovery or healing period that will put your schedule on hold for a few weeks. In 2014 the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported just under 300,000 women had their breasts enlarged, of which 88% were are aged between 19 and 50 years old. These numbers have tripled since 1997 where there were just over 100,000 procedures. While Australia seems to be behind in collecting these stats it has been shown historically that the Aussies are spending more per capita on ‘elective surgery’ including breast implants. That’s A LOT of new fitness crop tops out there! While it seems there are varied opinions or advice around returning to physical activity, generally you can expect that for the first 6-8 weeks you will need to modify your training to ensure there is no high impact activity. Sticking to an ‘exercise in moderation’ recovery plan will ensure that you body heals properly and you reduce the risk of scar tissue or stretch marks. Here are some general considerations for those post breast augmentation workouts. Within the first 2 weeks:
- No activity for the first 48hrs.
- You will be just returning to your normal energy levels after the first week but if you are chomping at the bit to do some training, do some light cardio activity – slow walking or stationary cycling is recommended. Limit arm movement.
- Avoid any activity that stretches or puts any tension on the pectoral muscle – particularly lifting anything heavier than a kilo or pulling – such as pulling the washing out.
- You may be feeling a little ‘heavier’ so practice good posture to avoid rounding the shoulders.
- Wear extra support to prevent movement when doing any light activity.
3 to 4 weeks:
- Introduce leg workouts but start with a light weight
- Begin doing low-resistance exercises above the waist but avoid using pectoral muscles such as pushups or pull-ups and planks.
- Keep your routines light and avoid raising your heart rate or blood pressure as this may lead to some complications.
4 to 6 weeks:
- Begin to return to normal routine and by week 6 you should be able to do most normal activities.
- No heavy lifting and only light chest work at the backend of week 6.
- No vigorous yoga moves or positions.
- Avoid overhead exercises until you have full range of motion of the arms.
Are there any impacts on Exercise? Most women don’t notice any difference once they are fully recovered. There are some activities however that can be affected by breast augmentation:
- Runners may notice the balance and the weight of their body changes;
- Swimmers say it can take time getting use to the buoyancy;
- Some tennis players say it can affect their back hand
- More men staring at you (ok I made that one up, but I bet it’s true!)
Give yourself the chance to recovery fully then you can get stuck into some high intensity workouts…with you and your new ‘girlfriends’.