Getting Back to the Gym After a Facelift

Facelift surgeon in Chicago discusses working out after surgery.

It’s quite common for patients to get antsy to resume their exercise routine after undergoing a facelift. Many patients at my Chicago practice lead active lifestyles and often want to return to the gym as soon as possible after undergoing facelift surgery.

Virtually all surgeons craft their own postoperative instructions for plastic surgery patients, including recommendations about when to resume every kind of activity, from walking to more strenuous exercise. They can vary quite a bit. Based on my years of experience and research, I’ve been able to develop innovative surgical techniques for facelift procedures that minimize tissue trauma (you can read more about how facelift techniques have advanced in this related blog post). That means patients typically experience shorter, more comfortable recoveries, and I allow them to resume their full exercise regimens 1 week after the surgery.

That being said, there are some things to keep in mind regarding your return to exercise in those initial few weeks following surgery.

  • Rest up during that first week: There is a reason for avoiding high-intensity workouts for at least a week. Exercise increases blood flow, and your body is more prone to swelling and bruising in those first few days after surgery.
  • Resume exercise slowly: Once you’re cleared to get back to your routine, it can be tempting to push yourself and make up for lost time. Resist the urge! Instead, listen to your body, and give yourself permission to stop at the first signs of feeling tired.
  • A complete recovery takes time: Expect your endurance to gradually build up after you start exercising. Along with it taking some time for your energy level to reach its pre-surgery level, you may feel that your psychological wellbeing requires a bit of nurturing as you await the final cosmetic results of the facelift to appear. That’s normal, and it can help to occasionally browse through our facelift before-and-after photos to remind yourself that your ultimate goal is on the horizon.

Even though more strenuous exercise should be postponed for at least a week, it’s important for patients not to remain sedentary during the first few post-op days. Walking boosts circulation and helps avoid complications, along with promoting the body’s natural healing process. I also encourage my patients to contact my office with any questions that may arise as they go about resuming physical activity.

One final note: I find that many patients anticipate the recovery period being much more difficult than it actually turns out to be.

If you’re ready to look your best and you need facelift advice from an experienced plastic surgeon in Chicago, contact my office for a consultation using the online contact form. Or, you can call us at (312) 788-2560 to schedule an appointment.

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