Exercise and Your Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery can make an exciting and lasting difference in the way your face and body look. Many see the results as 'life-changing'. You will feel more confident and positive about yourself. It marks the beginning of a new attitude about you and your health. When you look good you'll want to maintain that appearance. Not surprisingly, many start incorporating exercise and better eating habits into their daily routine, habits that will help you look and feel younger longer. The better your physical condition is prior to surgery, the better your surgical outcome will be. Elective surgery will give you time to prepare to be as healthy as possible. An added bonus for those who are fit beforehand is they won't gain as much weight when they are inactive after surgery. Because you have more muscle from an active lifestyle your metabolism will remain higher. You will be given strict instructions by your doctor on when to return to an exercise regimen. It's usually three to four weeks after a facelift, and a month after any type of body surgery, like breast augmentation or liposuction. Once back to working out or starting up for the first time then it's best to build up slowly.
You've had the surgery you wanted, the results are great...but how do you keep yourself looking slimmer and younger. The operative phrase may be "getting into a routine". To get results you need to train a minimum of three times each week, If you do it twice, you will maintain your current fitness but it'll be difficult to see any esthetic change. The cornerstone of your workout should be strength training. You lose a pound of muscle every year after thirty and your metabolism slows down. The optimum strength training is for roughly 45-55 minutes three times per week. But if you are short of time, concentrate on the large muscle groups, like legs and chest. These are the core of strength training. Cardio should be at least three times a week or more. I recommend three to four weekly sessions of moderate cardio lasting about 50 minutes and one twenty-minute intense session. The cardio must be aerobic, so your heartbeat remains at an elevated rate with activities like cycling, running and fast walking are examples. Tennis and squash don't qualify. Here's a good tip! Do your cardio after your weightlifting as your glycogen levels are down and you'll burn more fat. Flexibility is another important aspect of fitness, one people often neglect if they're rushing. You don't get old then stiff, 'You get stiff, then old."
I recommend doing stretches anywhere, anytime, while watching television, in the shower, even at your desk. I take my strength training clients through a dynamic stretch to warm up for every workout , then end the workout with a static stretch for lasting flexibility gains. But what about those people who really just don't like to exercise? The secret is to get a program that is tailored to you. A personalized program can be really motivating and there are so many options to choose from. Hiring a personal trainer can help you create a program that works for you. Classes are another way to put some fun into your routine. Pilates, yoga, spinning, step aerobics, there are lots to choose from.
If you want to decrease body fat and increase lean tissue, sixty per cent of your success will be determined by diet. If you are not getting enough proteins, fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates and water, the muscle won't regenerate itself. I recommend 3 meals and 2 snacks. If your meals are too far apart, the body holds onto the fuel because it doesn't know when the next meal will come. It saves fat for survival. When meals are too large your blood sugar spikes, causing insulin to spike causing fat storage yet again. Carbs are getting a lot of attention these days: are they good, bad or half-way in between? I recommend meals that contain lean protein, a vegetable, and a 'good' carbohydrate. Try and eat a low glycemic index carb, like sweet potatoes or real oatmeal. These carbs have a slow and consistent release of sugar into the bloodstream. This keeps your insulin levels nice and low. I don't like diets like Atkins which are too high in fat, and I'm not a proponent of The Zone Diet, but you should watch your carb intake.
I prefer clients keep a food diary for a couple of weeks. You become accountable and start thinking a lot more about what your eating. I stress the importance of consistency and regular eating habits. Try to eat twenty-one meals a week and don't skip them. Breakfast is your most important meal. I usually make an egg white omlette with spinach and feta cheese. (Lunch is usually chicken or fish with salad, and dinner is similar, usually with salad). Of course, there is no secret formula to getting fit. It's a matter of planning ahead and working hard. But the results are worth it if you can make it work. Set realistic and attainable goals for exercise and diet or you'll fall off the wagon. They must also be challenging to make changes. It usually takes 45 to 60 days to see that change and you will feel so much better about yourself. Just remember, nutrition and exercise go hand in hand for your best results before and after surgery.
DEBORAH is a highly respected authority in personal training for overall health and fitness, with more than 22 years of experience and success. Her credentials include...
Currently licensed Registered Nurse specializing in Rehabilitative Nursing
Medical Exercise Therapist: certified by AAHFRP, an internationally recognized physical rehabilitation certification
Maternity Specialist Pre & Post Natal certified by Maternal Fitness
Personal Fitness Specialist: certified by NASM, an internationally recognized certification
Professional Health Member, National Organization of Fitness Instructors (IDEA), a leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals
Deborah Caruana RN, MES, CPT
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