When Can I Exercise After Hernia Surgery?

Many patients ask us at the Iskandar Complex Hernia Center when they will be able to return to exercising following hernia surgery. We know exercise is an important part of our patient’s lives and not only improves their physical health but is also important for their mental and emotional well-being as well. Getting back to normal exercise after any type of surgery should always be done with great care and caution and under the direction of your surgeon. In this article, we will give you some general guidelines on returning to exercise after hernia surgery however you should follow your doctor’s instructions in regard to your particular surgery and individual recovery. Dr. Iskandar’s goal for all of his patients is to help them achieve an improved, healthy lifestyle. He uses the most minimally invasive procedure that will be effective at repairing the type of hernia you have. Give our office a call today to learn more about hernia repair surgery and schedule your appointment.

How long after hernia surgery can I begin to exercise?

Hernia surgery patients can typically walk as much as they can tolerate immediately after surgery. It is important not to lay in bed all day and be sedentary but to get up and move around as much as possible as your body heals. This will not only aid in your hernia recovery, but walking and deep breathing also help to prevent blood clots from forming after surgery. A good goal to aim for immediately after surgery is to walk around for five to ten minutes at least five to six times a day.

Two to three weeks after surgery, non-impact exercises like biking, swimming, or elliptical training are safe to resume. Exercises to strengthen core muscles should be avoided for 4-6 weeks. Jumping, sprinting, and impact exercises should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks following hernia surgery. The range of movement that can be attained after surgery will also depend on how much discomfort a person feels. Patients shouldn’t start exercising again until their doctor gives the all-clear that it is safe to do so. Dr. Iskandar offers minimally invasive hernia repair procedures that help patients achieve optimal recovery and get back to their normal routine as quickly as possible.

We can help with hernia surgery recovery because we treat the whole person.

More FAQ’s about Exercise After Hernia Surgery

When can I start weight lifting after hernia surgery?

Patients are advised not to lift anything heavier than fifteen pounds for the first four weeks following a hernia repair. The majority of hernia patients can resume heavy lifting and strenuous exercise a few months after surgery. In general, around two to three months following laparoscopic hernia surgery or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair most patients can resume weightlifting and gym activities. Waiting about 2 months is normally recommended for large umbilical hernias and incisional hernias. Again, it is always advisable to discuss it with your surgeon before resuming any form of exercise while your body is healing.

What happens if you lift too soon after hernia surgery?

Lifting weights or engaging in strenuous activities too soon after hernia repairs can cause a hernia recurrence or other complications. We know it is important to get back to your normal activities as soon as possible, but following your surgeon’s guidelines will help make sure your recovery time is not increased. Starting with gentle exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles or light jogging when your doctor releases you is the best way to return to an exercise routine safely.

How much weight can I lift 2 weeks after hernia surgery?

For the first two weeks following a hernia surgery, you should not lift more than fifteen pounds. Depending on the type of hernia you had, and the type of surgery (umbilical hernia, incisional hernia, abdominal wall hernia, inguinal hernia surgery, etc.) performed to repair it, your doctor will advise you on when it is safe to begin lifting more than 15 pounds.

How soon can I return to exercise after laparoscopic hernia surgery?

Throughout the first several days following laparoscopic hernia repair, you should refrain from lengthy activities and social gatherings. This lessens the usual swelling and bruising that accompany laparoscopy. Walking frequently at this time is advised. As long as you are not driving, you are free to leave the house or climb stairs following laparoscopic surgery.

For the first one to two weeks, you should avoid heavy lifting greater than 15 lbs. during this time (a bag of groceries, a laptop, a gallon of milk, or a handbag). Throughout the first week, you should be able to go back to work. You can do light treadmill exercise, biking, or light jogging during the second week following surgery. Make sure not to push or strain yourself and to stop if you feel any pain.

You are free to do nearly anything 4 weeks after your operation. But you should gradually build back up to your prior fitness and activity levels. You shouldn’t just walk into the gym and begin performing challenging, high-impact leg exercises like squats or deadlifts as well as other strenuous exercises like bench presses, etc. Start with modest weights or maybe just your body weight, then gradually increase the weight.

By adopting this strategy, you will have an easy and quick recovery with no long-term restrictions on the amount of weight, the types of exercises, or the amount of cardiovascular training you may do.

Can I do push-ups after hernia surgery?

Immediately following hernia surgery, you should avoid any strenuous activity that put a strain on your groin or abdomen, such as push-ups or sit-ups. Hernia surgery recovery for abdominal hernias generally includes gentle stretching in the beginning and then moving to more demanding activities after a few weeks. It is important to build core strength by strengthening your abdominal wall and lower back. Plank exercises are a great way to work on core strengthening and are safer to do than push ups while you are recovering. You should always stop any exercise if you begin to feel pain.

How can I strengthen my stomach after hernia surgery?

The abdominal muscles and tissue must have enough time to heal properly after abdominal hernia repair because the procedure disturbs them. Exercises for the core, however, are beneficial for developing abdominal strength once you’re released. Following Dr. Iskandar’s approval, you can begin including gentle abdominal exercises like planks in your routine. Most patients are cleared six to twelve weeks after surgery to begin a normal exercise routine once they are feeling stronger. Other exercises that are great for strengthening the core after hernia repair include button pulls, core twists, and pelvic tilts.

For more information about hernia repair or exercising while recovering from hernia surgery, contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Iskandar. His unparalleled compassion and level of expertise make him the leader in complex hernia repair in the area. The caring staff at the Iskandar Complex Hernia Center is here to help you get you live life pain-free and to the fullest. Call us today!

Posted on November 21, 2022

Posted in hernia surgeryTagged , , ,
Iskandar Headshot Smaller

Dr. Iskandar, MD, FACS is a board-certified general surgeon with fellowship training in minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery. He is an accredited Surgeons of Excellence in Hernia Surgery by the SRC. The Iskandar Complex Hernia Center is one of only two North Texas Hernia Centers deemed Centers of Excellence. As a globally respected complex hernia expert, he specializes in complex hernia repair and abdominal reconstruction. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at Texas A&M School of Medicine.