Exercise After Hysterectomy: What to Start and What to Avoid

Although exercise after hysterectomy may seem daunting, it is important to get moving as soon as possible. Exercise helps to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.

However, it is important to listen to your body and not overdo it.

You will be happy to know that exercise is actually one of the best things you can do for your health after surgery!

This article will discuss what exercises are safe to start and what to avoid. We will also provide some tips on getting started safely and effectively. So read on for all the information you need on exercise after a hysterectomy!

How long should you wait before exercising after your hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is a major surgery that involves the removal of the uterus. As with any surgery, it is important to give your body time to recover before resuming normal activities.

For most women, this means waiting at least six weeks before starting to exercise again, and for many, even longer.

However, every woman is different, and some may feel ready to return to their workout routine sooner. It is important to listen to your body and consult with your doctor before making any decisions about returning to exercise.

It is best to start slowly and gradually build up your activity level. By taking the time to recover properly, you can help reduce your risk of complications and ensure a successful recovery.

Why is it so important to wait until you've recovered to start exercising?

Some women are eager to get back to their regular routine as soon as possible after a hysterectomy, but it's important to take things slowly and give your body time to recover.

Exercise puts stress on the body, and during the first few weeks after surgery, your body is still healing and adjusting.

Overdoing it with exercise can delay healing, cause pain, and lead to complications. In addition, you may be at higher risk for developing a blood clot during this time.

Once you've been cleared by your doctor, start slowly with low-impact activities and gradually build up to more strenuous activity.

This will help minimize the risk of complications and ensure that you're able to recover fully from your surgery.

How to get started with exercise after surgery

A hysterectomy can also be a major surgery with significant recovery time. As such, women need to take things slowly when it comes to getting back into an exercise routine.

Here are a few tips to get started:

Talk to your doctor

Before starting any new exercise regimen, it is important to check with your doctor to ensure that you are cleared for physical activity.

Start slowly

When you do start exercising, begin slowly and gradually work your way up to more strenuous activities. This will help minimize the risk of complications.

Choose low-impact activities

Walking, light stretching, breathing exercises, and gentle yoga are all excellent options for exercise after surgery.

These activities will help you get back into the swing of things without putting too much stress on your body.

You can add in more strenuous activities such as running, biking, or weight lifting as you progress. Just be sure to take it slow and listen to your body to avoid any injuries or setbacks.

If you feel discomfort or pain at any point, stop exercising and consult with your doctor.

Exercise is an essential part of staying healthy, and after a hysterectomy, it can be especially beneficial in aiding your recovery.

By taking things slowly and following the tips above, you can ensure a safe and successful return to exercise.

What exercises are safe after a hysterectomy?

Below are some basic guidelines and a timeline of what you can expect in the weeks following your hysterectomy.

This will give you a general idea of what you might be capable of; remember that everyone heals differently, and you may need more or less time to recover and return to exercising.

0-2 weeks

Rest is crucial in this stage, and you should avoid any strenuous activity. Instead, stick to light activities such as walking and gentle stretching.

Women are generally given a 10lb weight lifting restriction during this time.

2-6 weeks

Many exercises are safe to perform 2-6 weeks after a hysterectomy, but listening to your body and starting slowly is important.

Some gentle stretching exercises that are safe at this time include basic neck stretches, shoulder girdle circles, and thoracic rotations.

Kegel exercises, which involve contracting the pelvic floor muscles, can also help to restore muscle strength and endurance.

Start by doing a few reps of each exercise, gradually increasing the number of repetitions as you get stronger.

Walking is another excellent option for low-impact cardio, but again, start slowly and increase your distance as you are able.

If you have any pain or discomfort during these exercises, stop and consult with your doctor.

6-8 + weeks

Though every woman's experience is different, most are cleared to "return to all activities" six to eight weeks after a hysterectomy.

That said, it's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you had a laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomy, you might not feel up for strenuous activity at that point.

Studies show that many women need more time to recover before getting back into their everyday routines.

Give yourself a chance to heal and ease back into things. Before long, you'll be back to your old self.

When you are ready, some exercises to consider include: running, biking, weightlifting, swimming and other high-intensity workouts. Just be sure to start slowly and build up gradually.

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What exercises to avoid after a hysterectomy

After you have a hysterectomy, it is crucial for you to take some time to recover before returning to your normal activity level.

This means avoiding any strenuous exercises or activities that could put unnecessary strain on her body.

Some specific exercises to avoid include sit-ups, leg lifts, and any type of twisting motion. In addition, it is important to avoid anything that puts pressure on the abdomen, such as jogging or running.

Any jolting exercises that include jumping or hopping, such as jumping jacks, burpees, etc., should also be avoided.

If you are not sure whether an exercise is safe, it is always best to consult with your doctor. Heavy weight lifting is also not recommended in the early weeks and months after surgery.

Swimming and other low-impact exercise are generally safe, but listen to your body and take it easy until you feel stronger.

The benefits of exercise after having a hysterectomy

Though it may seem counterintuitive, exercise is actually one of the best things you can do for your body after having a hysterectomy.

It can help alleviate some of the common side effects of the surgery, such as fatigue and constipation.

Exercise also helps to improve circulation and increase muscle strength, both of which are important for a speedy recovery.

In addition, exercise releases endorphins, which can help to boost your mood and alleviate any feelings of anxiety or depression.

Of course, it's important to start slowly and listen to your body, but in general, exercise is a great way to promote healing after a hysterectomy.


Though every woman's experience is different, exercise is an integral part of the healing process after a hysterectomy.

Start slowly and build up gradually, listening to your body for any signs of pain or discomfort. Then, when you are ready, consider returning to your old exercise routine, but take it easy at first.

Avoid any exercises that put pressure on the abdomen or involve twisting motions. Swimming and other low-impact exercises are generally safe.

Remember to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods while you're recovering.

By taking it slow and following these guidelines, you'll be back to your old self in no time!

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About the author 

Mallory Milne

Mallory is a 38-year-old mom of two and the founder of HGHH. After battling through challenging complications from Essure, a permanent form of birth control that has since been pulled from the market, Mallory underwent a hysterectomy in 2020 and experienced difficulty losing weight. Understanding the roadblocks women face when trying to achieve their fitness goals after a hysterectomy, she created HFHH to provide support, tips and guidance for other women on their journey to weight loss and better health.

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