What is “Strenuous Exercise?”

Your doctor may tell you to avoid strenuous exercise after undergoing a surgical procedure, but what does “strenuous” really mean? The truth is, what’s considered strenuous is going to be different for everyone.

So, now you’re probably wondering, “How do I determine what strenuous is for me?” A general rule of thumb is that strenuous exercise involves significantly elevating your heartbeat to about 80% or 90% of its maximum for a relatively extended period of time (usually about 20 to 60 minutes). Examples of strenuous exercise may include running and contact sports.

Each cosmetic procedure carries unique recovery parameters. Non-surgical procedures often allow patients to get back to their usual routine without any restrictions on activity. However, most surgical procedures require patients to rest and recover. Patients are often encouraged to start a slow walking routine starting the second day after surgery, gradually working back up to regular exercise in the weeks that follow. Rigorous exercise is often not allowed during the first 2 weeks following surgery in order to decrease bruising, swelling, and bleeding. For example, I tell my tummy tuck patients in Birmingham to avoid strenuous exercise for a month after surgery.

Please feel free to share your experiences or ask questions about exercising after surgery.

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