When Can I Exercise After LASIK, and What Is the Recovery Time for Different Sports?

exercising after lasik

The first thing our sporty LASIK patients want to know is: How long after LASIK can I work out? LASIK surgery recovery is fast. However, it’s still wise to tread cautiously so that you safeguard your newly acquired vision. 

Exercise restrictions are meant to protect your eyes and give them sufficient time to heal without risk. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve had LASIK surgery in Kansas City, the same precautions apply. Let’s discuss exercise after LASIK surgery.

How Soon Can I Work Out After LASIK?

It’s important to remember that during LASIK a flap is created in the cornea. This flap is very delicate and needs to stay in place after surgery, without disruption, so it can heal. If dislocated you may experience pain, discomfort, excessive watering of the eyes, and blurred vision. 

Most eye doctors recommend taking it easy the week after surgery. Even though the flap begins to heal immediately post-op, intense exercising after LASIK surgery could put you at risk of complications.

Below is a general guideline; however it’s imperative to adhere to your optometrists’ recommendations, which vary from person to person.

1 Day After LASIK – No Exercise

LASIK patients resume their normal routines within a day or two after surgery. However, you should avoid any activities that could lead to you, or something, touching, poking, or irritating your eyes. Even doing gentle exercises can strain or aggravate your eyes, so it’s best to avoid exercise for the first few days.

3-4 Days After LASIK – Indoor Exercise

Using an elliptical machine and lifting weights after LASIK is permissible, so long as your workouts are light. Avoid anything high-intensity that risks sweat dripping into your eyes as this may impede the recovery process. For this reason, we advise wearing a headband when you work out after LASIK.

One Week After LASIK – Moderate Outdoor Exercise

working out after lasik

Group exercising after LASIK is possible one week after surgery, as well as moderate outdoor activities like jogging. At this stage, you can return to CrossFit, yoga, or the gym, so long as you’re careful and keep sweat away from your eyes. Try not to overexert yourself.

2-4 Weeks After LASIK – Skiing, Snowboarding, Swimming, and More

During this time, you’ll be ready to get back to more adventurous outdoor activities. Basketball, volleyball, skiing, snowboarding, and swimming are on the cards. Just make sure to wear eye protection for at least three months after your surgery. If you wish to swim — either in a pool or body of natural water — we recommend wearing goggles up to about 4-5 weeks after LASIK. If you’re unsure, check with your eye doctor.   

1-1.5 Months After LASIK – Scuba and Skydiving

Light working out after LASIK after a week or so is fine. However, any extreme sport that subjects a patient’s eyes to high-pressure levels should only be attempted after 12 weeks. This includes skydiving, paint-balling, rugby, martial arts, skydiving, and bungee jumping. The main reason for immediately holding off this type of exercising after LASIK surgery is to prevent any possible air bubbles from dislodging and damaging the eyes.

3 Months After LASIK – Ready for Anything

After the three-month mark, you partake in any kind of exercise without wearing eye protection. Many sports like racquetball and scuba diving require constant eye protection, and your enhanced eyesight will no longer slow down your active lifestyle. By now, your eyes would have fully healed, and your vision properly restored. 

When Can I Workout After LASIK? Recovery Times for Each Sport   

exercise after lasik

Can you workout after LASIK? Yes, but those who play full-contact sports need a longer recovery time because these activities pose a much higher risk of eye injury

Please note, these are approximate recovery times:

Workouts to Try While Recovering from LASIK  

how long after lasik can i workout

We recommend the following activities if you’re desperate to work out after LASIK. 

We advise sticking to hikes that are relatively flat, or with a very gradual incline. Try

to avoid steep or technical hikes where there’s a chance that dust or debris could get into your eyes.

So to reassure fitness fanatics who always ask, “Can I workout after LASIK?” Yes, you can. But remember, the point of recovery time is to recover. There’ll be plenty of time to workout once your eyes are fully healed.

Again, it’s best to stick to easier routes. Pick something scenic, so you can enjoy your improved vision. If you do want to up the ante, put your bike in a higher gear to make pedaling harder. This ensures you’ll still get a good workout 

Instead, you can do body weight exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, jump squats, and wall sits. These exercises provide a great workout without unwanted strain. There are plenty of body weight exercises on YouTube. Or better yet, you can download the Adidas or Nike training apps that tailor workouts according to your recovery needs.

Speak to Your Eye Doctor 

While this article provides a rough guideline on when and how you can exercise after LASIK, it’s always best to chat with your surgeon about the risks and safety precautions you need to take with certain types of exercise.

At Discover Vision Centers, our doctors are internationally recognized experts and leaders in LASIK surgery. From the very first consultation to the final checkup, they offer expert advice to ensure your recovery goes well, so you can enjoy life with optimal vision. If you need a LASIK surgeon in Kansas City, we can help.

Schedule a LASIK Consultation

Vision is essential while playing sports and training. Getting LASIK surgery ensures you no longer have to worry about your eyes and can focus on performance. Sure, undergoing LASIK comes with temporary changes in your workout routine. 

Yet, if you look at the big picture and consider that a couple of weeks of taking it easy can give you many years of excellent eyesight, it’s well worth adhering to the necessary workout precautions. If you’re interested in getting LASIK surgery, then why not start by taking our free online LASIK test?

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