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Facelift and Exercise – What You Need to Know

Facelift and Exercise – What You Need to Know

By Beverly Fischer on January 11, 2021

Surgical Face and Neck Back to Blog

facelift exerciseExercise and physical fitness are amazing tools millions of women use to maintain their physical and mental health. If regular exercise is an important part of your life, it’s understandable that you’ll want to dive back in as soon as possible after a facelift. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your routine may have to look a bit different for a few weeks in order to ensure you heal properly.

Different cosmetic surgeries can have different effects on your body and require varying amounts of rest and recovery, and a facelift is no exception. Here’s a bit more information about how your daily movement should change during post-operation recovery.

What happens if I exercise too soon after surgery?

Many of the positive aspects of working out can actually be to your detriment if you’ve just had a facelift. For example, most people aim to get their heart rate up and their blood pumping during a workout; however, increased heart rate and blood pressure could increase the risk of bruising and bleeding at your incisions. This can cause discomfort, swelling, and even infection if the intensity of your workout causes the incisions to reopen. Therefore, as much as you might miss your regular workout routine, it’s a good idea to take it easy for a while and postpone anything too intense.

When can I lift weights after a facelift?

There are many types of exercise out there that require different levels of intensity. Generally, weight training, though it does take some effort, doesn’t require as much vigorous movement as a cardio workout such as running, biking, or dancing. When it comes to exercise and facelift recovery, the most detrimental types of movements are those that could risk the tearing, bleeding, or swelling of incisions. Therefore, women who receive a facelift can generally expect to be able to lift light weights within four to five weeks after surgery, as long as their recovery process has gone smoothly, and their plastic surgeon approves. Check with your doctor and their team on specifics for you!

How can I speed up facelift recovery?

The success and timeline of your recovery process depends a lot on how committed you are to truly allowing your body to heal. If you are extremely careful and avoid any irritation to your recovering incisions, most women will find themselves back to normal around six weeks after their facelift. Here are some useful tips for staying on track with recovery and even speeding up the process:

Use cold compresses, especially in the first few days. 

You will experience a lot of post-op swelling, especially in the 48 hours immediately following your surgery. Utilize cold compresses to keep the swelling to a minimum and make sure it doesn’t remain applied longer than it should.

Avoid any intense workouts or heavy lifting. 

Your surgeon will be able to give you a detailed timeline of when you can introduce different types of movement back into your daily routine. However, a good rule of thumb after a facelift is to avoid as much strenuous activity as you can for at least a few weeks post-op.

Elevate your head while sleeping. 

This is another great way to reduce swelling and keep you sleeping comfortably during recovery.

We always recommend a healthy diet of protein and pineapple before, during and after surgery. 

Protein helps provide the proper nutrition needed to heal and pineapple has bromelain in it to minimize bruising and swelling.  We also recommend and carry a product that contains Arnica that can be taken prior to and after the surgery!

When can I do cardio after a facelift?

If you’re a fan of intense cardio, you may have to take a break with your routines for at least a month post-op. However, some very light cardio exercises such as walking or using the elliptical are usually safe after three or four weeks, especially if you already have an exercise background.

Have more questions about all things facelift? Contact Dr. Beverly Fischer, MD, and her team online or by calling 410-308-4700.


Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery | (410) 308-4700 | Website | More posts

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer is passionate about her role as a leading female plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. She believes that plastic surgery makes a positive, life-changing difference, whether you’re renewing your body, face, and skin or embarking on an entire gender transition.

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