A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is an increasingly popular procedure for those looking to remove excess fat from the stomach area. If you’ve tried everything to get a flat tummy with little success or simply want to tighten things up after pregnancy or weight loss, a tummy tuck might just be the solution you’re looking for.
While a tummy tuck operation is a fairly straightforward and low-risk procedure for otherwise healthy patients, it’s vital to follow post-operative care instructions. For example, as you’ll see in this Seattle tummy tuck checklist, you should avoid strenuous exercise and get enough rest after your procedure.
That said, if you want to get the best out of your new bod, it’s equally important that you don’t become completely sedentary during your recovery. Once you’re feeling well enough to move around, it’s time to work on building up your strength.
Check out these five top tips to stay fit after a tummy tuck:
- Know Your Limits
Doctors generally recommend that patients take it easy for the first week or two after surgery. It can be tempting to get up and moving, but you should always listen to your physician and your body.
Strenuous activities shouldn’t be attempted until at least six weeks after surgery as they may impact negatively on wound healing and compromise the corseting effect of the operation. If you simply can’t resist the urge to get moving, begin by standing with a straight back several times a day to strengthen your healing muscles. From there, progress to walking short distances.
- Return to Work
Returning to your normal work routine is a good way to get back into the swing of things. Not only will it allow you to add some light exercise into your day (walking, climbing stairs), but it will also help to regulate your meal times. This will ensure that poor dietary habits don’t slow your healing or cause excess weight gain.
- Combine Recreation and Fitness
You don’t have to hit the gym immediately to stay fit after a tummy tuck. Try incorporating a light workout into your daily routine, whether that means taking the stairs at work or parking further away from the office or supermarket. To help you get back into it, consider signing up for a yoga class with friends. The reward of a hot coffee and a good chat post workout is great incentive to get moving!
- Start with Low-Impact Exercises
When you do feel ready to get back in gear, start slow. Even if you feel fine, keep in mind that your muscles could be healing for up to a year. Begin with low-intensity exercises, such as low-impact aerobics and incline walking. From around week six, you can start to incorporate cardio, running and swimming. After approximately six months, you can return to high-intensity activities, such as weights and resistance training, if desired.
- Monitor Your Diet
A tummy tuck might seem like a permanent fix, but eating the wrong foods (especially during the sedentary part of your recovery) can hamper your results. Don’t restrict yourself (the body needs nutrients to heal), but try to steer clear of greasy, sodium laden fast-food and make sure that your diet contains high levels of protein, essential amino acids and fruits and vegetables.
A tummy tuck is a great way to regain some body confidence post-pregnancy or after significant weight loss. To get the most out of your procedure, follow these five tips for staying fit after abdominoplasty and always listen to your body, as everyone’s recovery process is different.