How Soon Can You Exercise After Breast Surgery- Recovery Tips!

Symbolically, breast surgery can represent a new beginning – and with that new beginning comes a new opportunity for physical activity.

You may be wondering how soon you can start exercising after breast surgery. Read on to find out the types of surgery, pre-exercise checklist, recommended exercises, intensity levels, and safety tips you should be aware of before starting your journey to fitness.

Types of Surgery: Understanding Your Breast Surgery

You may be wondering what type of breast surgery you’ll need to determine how soon you can exercise afterward. Generally, breast surgeries can be categorized into two types: reconstructive and non-reconstructive.

type of breast surgery

Reconstructive surgeries involve restoring the shape and size of the breast, such as a breast lift or breast augmentation.

Non-reconstructive surgeries include mastectomies, where all or part of the breast is removed.

Depending on the type of surgery, it may take up to 6 weeks for the body to fully recover and for stretching techniques and physical therapy to be implemented. However, light stretching and walking may be allowed after a few days.

It’s important to consult your doctor for advice on when it’s safe to exercise again.

Pre-Exercise Checklist: Preparing for Safe Post-Surgery Workouts

Once you have determined when to start exercising again, following a pre-exercise checklist is important to ensure a safe and successful workout.

Start with your nutrition. Eating the right foods to provide the necessary energy and nutrients for your body is essential. Discuss your diet with your doctor or physical therapist to ensure you get the right nutrition for your body’s needs.

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Next, a physical therapist can help you develop an individualized exercise plan tailored to your abilities and goals. They can also provide tips on proper form and technique to help you avoid injury.

Recommended Exercises: Gentle Workouts for Recovery

Having discussed the pre-exercise checklist for resuming exercise after breast surgery, it’s time to focus on the recommended exercises. To protect yourself from injury, it’s a good idea to start off slowly and gradually increase your intensity. Try to modify exercises to accommodate your physical limitations.

Deep breathing is also important and can help you relax while exercising. It can also help you focus on your body as you move, making you aware of any areas that are too painful or uncomfortable. Remember to start slowly, increase your intensity over time, and stop if you experience any pain.

Intensity Levels: Adjusting Exercise Intensity

When it comes to intensity levels after breast surgery, it’s important to start off slow and gradually build up. Here are three tips to keep in mind:

  1. Begin with low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling.
  2. Increase your intensity gradually and focus on strengthening techniques such as crunches, arm raises, and squats.
  3. Incorporate breathing exercises to help reduce any tightness and tension in the chest area.

To safely resume your exercise routine, you should consult your doctor first. This is especially important if you have any pain or discomfort during or after exercise. Remember not to rush your recovery and focus on proper form and technique. Allowing your body to adjust gradually to more intense workouts will help you safely achieve your fitness goals.

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Safety Tips: Guidelines for a Healthy Post-Operative Fitness Journey

To ensure your safety while exercising after breast surgery, it’s important to follow some key tips.

  • Listen to your body when deciding when and how to exercise. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and take a rest period.
  • Start off slow and gradually build up the intensity of your workouts. Take regular rest periods, and be sure to stay hydrated.
  • Talk to your doctor about any potential risks and what activities may be best for you based on your individual condition.

The key is to remain mindful of your body’s limitations and be sure you don’t overdo it. With a little patience and care, you’ll soon be back in the gym.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Breast Surgery?

Recovery from breast surgery can involve both emotional and physiological healing. It is important to allow yourself time to heal, both physically and mentally, which will vary for each individual. Speak with your doctor about what is best for you.

What Are the Risks of Exercising Too Soon After Surgery?

Exercising too soon after surgery can put you at risk for postoperative complications and fatigue management issues. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and wait at least a few weeks before beginning any physical activity.

Is There a Minimum Amount of Time That Must Pass Before Exercising?

Letting your body heal before engaging in strength training after surgery is important. Generally, you should wait at least 6 weeks for the surgery healing process to complete before beginning any exercise.

Is It Safe to Lift Weights After Breast Surgery?

You can lift weights after breast surgery, but exercise intensity should be discussed with your doctor. Careful post-surgery planning is important to ensure a safe and successful recovery.


Exercising after breast surgery is possible, but it’s important to discuss it with your doctor first. Many people can build strength and endurance back in just a few weeks, but it’s important to listen to your body and take it slow.

An interesting statistic to keep in mind is that breast cancer survivors who exercised during and after treatment reported improved moods and higher quality of life. Exercise can be a great tool to help you on your breast surgery journey.

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