How soon can you exercise after a nose job?
After rhinoplasty surgery, you may find that your recovery is quicker and easier than you anticipated. You might even feel so good as to want to leap right back into fast, active motion, cardio and weightlifting or exercising again. Great news, right? Well, although it is fantastic you feel like a million bucks, your body is likely not up to the task yet.
Time to Heal and Recover
Many rhinoplasty patients seek to resume their normal activities as soon as possible after surgery. Yet even with a facial surgery like a rhinoplasty, what you do with the rest of your body influences how quickly, safely and effectively your face heals. Following any surgery, your body is working hard to repair itself, and needs rest, proper fluids and nutritious foods to bounce back quickly. Your body is investing its efforts and energy into healing, regeneration and rebuilding the painful and swollen area right in front of your eyes. Tissues within your nose are also fresh from surgery and need time to heal, and are at this point still prone to bleeding.
Exercising too soon after a rhinoplasty will interfere with proper healing. Torn muscle will require nutrients that at this time are better allocated to the nose. (Remember, it is not during exercise, but after it, that muscle actually grows.) Intense cardio will also raise your heart rate and blood pressure and can cause nose bleeds, bruising, and post-surgical complications. For this reason, avoid any exercise beyond light to brisk walking.
Patients are also concerned about whether exercise will influence their appearance during the recovery process. Swelling after surgery is a slow and steadily mitigating process. Exercise will increase blood flow to the nose, often leading to an increase in swelling. Things should go back to normal after a few hours, however, and this effect of exercise will become less obvious as the weeks pass before disappearing altogether.
How Long Should I Wait?
It takes roughly six weeks for your nose structures to “glue” themselves back in place, so after this time you can resume a normal exercise routine. Three to 4 weeks after your rhinoplasty, you’re welcome to slowly resume gentle, non-contact exercises like swimming and road biking. Start slow, and be careful with activities that require a lot of motion or bouncing, such as high-impact aerobics or jumping rope. Running or jogging should also be avoided during this first 3 to 4 week stage.
Because you’ve taken some time off from your workout, you should carefully ease back into your routine. Don’t take on the most difficult aerobics class and do not try to run the same distance you ran before surgery. With weights, start at a lower weight and work your way back up as your body allows over the next few weeks. Stop the exercise if you don’t feel well or begin to feel your nose throbbing. Your body is telling you to take it easy. Realize as well, that if you are taking pain medication, that voice of warning has been effectively silenced, yet it may very well still be there.
You will need to wait even longer to resume contact sports. You don’t want to risk injury to your new nose, and getting hit soon after surgery could harm your nose and its appearance more dramatically than such a hit ordinarily would, not to mention put you at risk for a serious injury. If you have ever experienced a bee sting or stubbed toe and discovered that only after that initial injury the area seemed to be being hit again and again, “all the time,” that will help you understand the difference between a healed and injured area of the body. In all likeliness, these light impacts were occurring all along, only now they are quite noticeable, and quite painful.
Basketball, football, baseball, and any other sport where you could potentially get hit by a ball or another person must be put on hold for at least six weeks after the surgery date. If you play any type of sport, ask your surgeon to give you specific instructions for the recovery period. Protective gear such as a face visor and helmet may be recommended for a time.
Getting Back to Your Life
Although it is hard to hold back when you love to exercise, remember that this is only a temporary but very important break. It is well worth it to allow your body to heal from surgery and to protect your nose. There are a few specific ways you can help your body boost its recovery process. Foods such as turmeric, ginger, pineapple and blueberries have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing your consumption of these and more after surgery can reduce healing time and help you feel better. It’s also important to get plenty of rest and sleep and to stay hydrated. Both are essential to recovery.
Before long, you will be back to your original fitness level, with an added bonus: your nose will look better than ever. Rhinoplasty recovery can be fast and smooth if you take care of yourself properly, and if you choose a skilled, experienced facial plastic surgeon.
Dr. Michel Siegel is a top facial surgeon in Houston, specializing in rhinoplasty. If you’re in Houston or willing to travel here, Dr. Siegel can help you achieve the look you’ve always wanted to see in the mirror. Contact our office today.