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Exercising after Facelift Surgery

When to Start Exercising after a Facelift Surgery & Facelift Recovery Timeline

Before undergoing any kind of surgical procedure, it is important to understand that you will have to go through a recovery period and a facelift will surely put a hold on your exercise routine. Getting back to exercising after facelift surgery might take a while. Doing physical exercises while you are still healing isn’t a great idea and it can impact your results.
When undergoing facelift surgery, your priority should be getting proper rest. Taking the recommended time off from work and resting will allow your body to heal fully. After the surgery, Dr Turner will give you detailed post-operative instructions which you should follow.
Dr Scott Turner is a specialist plastic surgeon in Sydney – find out more about his Facelift Surgery and look at his Facelift Surgery before and after pictures to see the results.

Exercising Too Soon Can Delay Healing

As a general rule of thumb, take two weeks off from work and avoid all sorts of strenuous activities. Put a hold on your usual exercise routine till your surgeon approves. This can be challenging for individuals who lead very active lifestyles and can’t go a day without exercising; however, it is essential for your smooth recovery.
If you get back to working out too soon, it can lead to complications. Exercise can harm the sutures and you might end up reopening the incisions. Any kind of heavy lifting can lead to straining, disrupt healing, and lead to infection, scarring, swelling, increased bruising, and bleeding. These are all complications after the surgery that could be avoided.

Exercise Timeline after Facelift Surgery

Dr Scott Turner will give you a detailed recovery timeline and instructions regarding exercise. It is important to follow all the recommendations even when you feel fine already. With that being said, you must understand that everyone heals at a different pace. Listen to your body and Dr Turner. Here is a general exercise timeline to follow after getting a facelift:


It is common and expected to feel uncomfortable at this point during the recovery phase. Take the prescribed meds to keep the swelling and discomfort in control. Both swelling and bruising are your body’s natural reaction to the surgery. Do not expect to see results right away.
Try to be patient with yourself and arrange for a family member, a friend, or even consider hiring someone to help you around the house for the first few days. Keep your physical activity to a minimum and just move gently.


Rest for at least one to two days after the facelift. It is normal to not feel your best at this time. Walk around the house every couple of hours and keep your head in an elevated position.


Do not overexert yourself for the first 72 hours of the surgery as this might trigger complications that could be otherwise avoided.


By the end of the one-week mark, most patients start to feel better. Strenuous activities are still a big NO. However, you can move around the house and resume your daily activities. Keep your head in an elevated position while sleeping to minimise the swelling and speed up the healing process.


You can comfortably walk around the house for 15 to 30 minutes once the initial first week has passed. You can start with 5 minutes and gradually build up the duration. At the end of the first two weeks, feel free to resume activities around the house including cooking, dusting, washing dishes etc. Once three weeks have passed, try incorporating gentle yoga and a stretching routine, but only after consulting your surgeon.


Do not lift heavy objects as this can put a strain on your surgical incisions.


Congratulations! The most difficult phase of recovery is over. This is the time when you can resume most of your usual activities. With that being said, it is important to listen to your body. Whenever you feel tired, weak, or lethargic, take a break and rest. For most people, most of the bruising and swelling should have subsided by now. You will be able to enjoy the results of the surgery.


You can keep doing light cardio workouts such as walking or jogging. You can also walk around the block or use a treadmill at the gym, and start cycling slowly. Keep the pace low and gradually build up the intensity in the upcoming weeks.


Pay attention to your heart rate and ensure it doesn’t get too high while working out. This step will prevent excessive swelling and minimise bruising.


Swelling, bruising, and the tingling sensation in the face will subside and there’s more good news for you: you can start working out (gently)! Always consult your surgeon though. If you are healing at a relatively slow pace, you might be asked to avoid working out for two more weeks. Once you have fully recovered, you can resume all sorts of physical activities.


You can engage in all sorts of workouts if your surgeon approves. Never assume that you have fully healed and always consult them first.


If you don’t feel ready to get back to your regular workout just yet, don’t push yourself too hard. Be patient and set realistic expectations for yourself. Start slow and gradually build up the stamina to work out instead of jumping directly on a two-hour workout routine.

Best Exercises after Facelift Surgery

While sticking to the timeline given by Dr Turner, you can opt for the following exercises after the facelift surgery:

1. Walking

Walking in the initial phases of recovery will promote blood circulation, prevent blood clots, and promote healing. It will give you a surge of energy as well. Initially, walk at a very slow pace and take breaks as needed. Start with 5 minutes and gradually build up.

2. Cycling

You can opt for cycling safely once you hit the one-month mark. You can either take out your bike or use a stationary bike. Avoid high speeds and inclines until you feel ready. Focus on moving your legs and take breaks when needed. If at any point, while cycling, you feel weak, tired, and lethargic, take a break.

3. Stretching and Yoga

Another good form of exercise post-facelift surgery is light stretching and gentle yoga moves. These two forms of exercise not only relax your body but also relieve stress. Make sure that none of the stretching or yoga poses don’t put pressure on your incisions. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good. Most patients can start doing yoga one month after the surgery.

4. Pilates

Once you hit the 4th-week mark, you can do Pilates if Dr Turner gives you a go. Pilates is great for targeting individual muscle groups, minus all the heavy lifting and weights. Like always, start slow and gradually build up the reps and intensity.

FAQS about Recovery & Exercising after Facelift Surgery

How soon after the facelift can I exercise?
You can resume your regular workouts six weeks after the facelift surgery if your surgeon approves. You can begin with walking within the first week after the facelift. You can start stretching, cycling, and doing yoga after the first three weeks. Make sure to check in with your surgeon prior to starting any kind of workout routine.
Why can’t I exercise after the facelift?
It is not recommended to work out during the recovery phase as it can put stress on your incision sites and lead to bruising, swelling, and the development of seroma. Working out a bit too soon can completely disrupt the healing process and lead to severe complications.
How long should I wear the chin strap after a facelift?
It is recommended to wear a chin strap continuously for at least the first two weeks post-facelift surgery. You can take it off while eating and showering/ cleaning incisions.
Can I go for a walk after a facelift?
Yes, in fact, it is recommended to start walking for 15 to 20 minutes even in the first week after the facelift surgery. Gradually, build up the duration and pace.
How soon after the facelift surgery can I fly?
It is important to consult your surgeon. Most patients can take short-haul flights in about 48 hours after the facelift surgery. This time frame can vary for different patients and it is crucial to listen to your surgeon’s advice in this regard.
What happens if you exercise too soon after surgery?
Exercising too soon after any kind of surgical procedure will put a strain on your stitches and can lead to bleeding, infections, swelling, and hematoma. Moreover, it can affect the healing process.
When can you exercise after a mini facelift?
Avoid all sorts of activity for the first 48 hours after the mini facelift surgery. You can gradually begin walking for 15 to 20 minutes. Wait for six weeks before returning to your complete exercise routine.

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Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Download Procedure Guides to find out more about your surgery.
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure.

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral.

Making the Most of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive early for your in-person consultation.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

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