Can You Exercise After A Rhinoplasty: Rhinoplasty, more colloquially known as a nose job, is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries in the United States. Over 200,000 people elect to undergo the rhinoplasty procedure every year, a majority of whom are pleased with the results.
Dr. Shah in Chicago, IL has the knowledge and experience to deliver natural-looking results, but a surgeon’s skill is only part of what makes a rhinoplasty successful. Some of the responsibility lies with the patient to carefully follow the instructions for recovery.
Exercising too intensely or frequently after rhinoplasty may interfere with your body’s ability to heal. Keep reading to learn the best way to start exercising again after rhinoplasty – including timelines, types of exercise to avoid, and the risks of starting too soon.
Exercise to Avoid
Cosmetic surgery, like any time of invasive surgery, requires a certain amount of recovery time. Most surgeons recommend waiting three to four weeks before returning to your regular exercise routine. In the meantime, low-impact and low-intensity exercises are the best options.
When you exercise with moderate to high intensity, your blood pressure and heart rate increase. A higher heart rate increases your risk of nose bleeds, bruising, and other problems during healing. It will also extend any swelling and lengthen the healing window, both of which impact the outcome of your surgery.
The nasal tissues are especially fragile in the first couple of weeks after surgery and need to be protected from any impact that may keep the tissue from healing. You will want to avoid touching or bumping the nose during recovery. Even wiping sweat or a casual bump can negatively affect the results of your rhinoplasty.
Avoid medium to high-intensity exercise including running, weight lifting, biking, hiking, or any activity that impacts your heart rate and makes you sweat. You should also keep from doing any activity that flips you upside down, like yoga. Inversions impact your ability to breathe and send blood rushing into your face and nose, increasing bruising and swelling.
Risks of Exercising Too Soon
The main reason to avoid exercising after rhinoplasty is that it will affect your results. Any activity that raises the blood pressure in the head – including exercise – is best avoided to prevent nosebleeds that may interfere with the results.
Continued bleeding means that the wounds in the nose have yet to heal. The more you irritate the nasal tissues, the longer your healing will take.
Pressure from heavy lifting or strenuous exercise may pop stitches and divert nutrients from healing the nose to healing the tiny muscle tears that happen during exercise. It will certainly prolong bruising and swelling.
As you reintroduce exercise, be sure to listen to your body. Pain, throbbing, numbness, or tingling are all indications that you may be pushing yourself too hard, or too fast. Allow your body the time it needs to recover to keep from lengthening or disrupting your body’s natural healing capabilities.
Ease Back Into Exercise
Exercise is a crucial aspect of living a healthy life. Spending a few weeks recovering may feel like a lifetime if you are used to exercising regularly. While these general guidelines may give you a better idea of how to ease back into exercise, you should always listen to your body first and foremost.
For the first week, your primary concern should be rest and recovery. After surgery, your surgeon will send you home with a splint or a bandage meant to protect your nose for the first week. The splint and gauze will inhibit breathing through the nose.
You can walk slowly a few days after your surgery, but do not strain yourself. Keep any walking to 20 minutes or less as your body starts to recover. If you feel fatigued or out of breath, you should stop walking immediately as this is an indication that your blood pressure is getting too high.
Weeks Two to Three
Your bandages and splits will most likely be removed after a week, and you will see less bruising and swelling. After two weeks, most people can reintroduce some mild to moderate exercise. Keep to moderately-paced, no-contact, and zero-impact forms of exercise to keep from disrupting healing.
Avoid inversions and any team sports where someone may accidentally hit or bump your nose. Running and swimming are best avoided as swelling and bruising continue to go down. If you want to start weight training, reintroduce weights at about 50% of your capacity to keep from straining the body.
Weeks Four to Six
Continue to avoid any high-intensity exercise or activities where you might accidentally hit or bump the nose as you begin to increase the intensity of your workouts. You can start doing moderate exercise. If you are weight training, step it up to 80% of your previous capabilities.
If your incisions are healed, you can start swimming again. At this point, you need to listen carefully to the needs of your body. If any type of exercise causes discomfort or strain, stop and allow your body more time to heal.
After two months, your nose should be mostly healed. If your nose is feeling good, you can reintroduce running and heavy weight lifting between six and eight weeks after your surgery.
You still need to avoid any exercise where you might hit your nose, like team sports. If you participate in contact sports, you will want to get your surgeon’s approval before starting to practice again.
“Pushing past the pain” could damage your nose and increase the possibility of needing revision rhinoplasty. Take it slow to keep it from affecting the results of your procedure but also so that when you do start exercising again, you can get back to it without any pain or swelling in your new nose.
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Dr. Shah is an experienced plastic surgeon performing rhinoplasty procedures in Chicago, IL. Interested in learning more about Dr. Shah’s individualized rhinoplasty procedures? Contact the office to schedule a consultation and take the next step toward your ideal nose!