How Long After Lasik Can I Workout 2024? Experts Explain

Regain your vision and return to your fitness routine with confidence. “How Long After Lasik Can I Workout? Experts Explain” offers post-operative insights to get you back in the gym safely and swiftly.

How Long After Lasik Can I Workout?

A person resting in bed with eye protection, surrounded by workout equipment and a calendar showing the date of their LASIK surgery

After undergoing LASIK, a pivotal vision correction surgery, your cornea needs ample time to heal. This crucial healing process is integral to achieving the crisp, clear vision you’ve been excited about. While recovery times can vary, certain guidelines will help you move safely and confidently.

Immediate Recovery: In the first 24 hours post-surgery, rest your eyes to promote healing. Any strain, including excessive screen use, reading, or exposure to bright lights could compromise comfort and healing.

Physical Activity Guidelines:

  • First 1-2 Days: Complete rest is recommended. Avoid activities that could introduce bacteria or sweat to your eyes.
  • Days 3-4: Light indoor exercise, such as using an elliptical machine or lifting moderate weights, can begin. Wear a headband to protect your eyes from sweat.
  • After Day 4: You might be ready for moderate outdoor exercise. Remember to use eye protection in an environment where particles could contact your eyes, like a bike ride through a wooded area.

Before resuming any physical activity, consult your LASIK surgeon or eye doctor to tailor the guidance to your recovery process. Trust their advice—they’ve led countless patients through successful recoveries!

To prevent injury:

  • Rubbing Your Eyes: Postpone this until your doctor gives you the go-ahead.
  • Pressure on the Eye: Avoid any exercises that could build pressure in the eye area, ensuring the cornea remains undisturbed.

Specific Exercise Guidelines After LASIK

Immediate Post-Operative Period

In the first 24-48 hours after your LASIK surgery, you must rest. Your eyes need time to start the healing process, so gentle napping and relaxation are your best activities. During this initial phase, avoid any exercise that could result in contact with your eyes or cause sweat to drip into them.

Safe Exercises to Consider

After the first 48 hours, you may gradually return to certain physical activity. Here’s a timeline to guide you:

  • 3-4 Days Post-LASIK: You can engage in light indoor exercises, such as:
    • Using an elliptical machineWalking at a gentle paceLightweight lifting
    • Be sure to wear a headband to prevent sweat from entering your eyes
  • 2 Days Post-LASIK: Moderate outdoor activities are acceptable, but employ caution:

    • Cycling— always wear sunglasses for protection.
    • Running— pick clear paths to avoid debris, and consider eye protection.
  • 5 Days Post-LASIK: You might feel ready for group fitness classes, but listen to your body and keep activities low-impact.

Activities to Avoid and Why

To protect your eyes during the healing process, some activities should be avoided for at least a week or as advised by your doctor:

  • Swimming or any activity in the pool: Chlorinated water can irritate and hamper the healing of your eyes.
  • Contact sports: Accidental pokes or jabs could cause significant damage to your still-healing eyes.
  • High-intensity gym exercises and hot yoga: Excessive sweat can increase the risk of infection.
  • Using a sauna or steam room: The extreme heat and moisture can harm your recovery.

Safety Measures and Post-LASIK Care

A person wearing protective goggles and using eye drops, with a workout schedule and calendar in the background

During the early stages of your LASIK recovery, avoid contact sports such as basketball, volleyball, racquetball, martial arts, skiing, snowboarding, boxing, tennis, football, and rugby to prevent any potential damage to your eyes. Protective eyewear is highly recommended if you engage in any physical activities with a risk of eye injury.

  • Eye Protection for Water Activities:
    • Scuba Diving: Wait at least a month before scuba diving to avoid high water pressure on your eyes.
    • Swimming: Stay out of the water for at least two weeks, and when you do return, use goggles to shield your eyes from chlorine.

The Risks of Complications

Being aware of post-LASIK risks is a must to avoid complications. Here are some specifics:

  • Dry Eyes: Use artificial tears to relieve dryness and avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Infections and Irritation: Keep your eyes clean and free from bacteria.
  • Eye Makeup: Wait at least a week before resuming the use of makeup to prevent infections.
  • Showering: To reduce the risk of irritation, avoid direct water jets on your eyes in the shower.

Follow-Up Appointments and Check-Ups

Post-LASIK, attending all follow-up appointments with your eye doctor ensures your eyes are healing correctly.

Avoiding substances that could interfere with recovery, such as alcohol and smoking, is essential for a successful recovery. Report any symptoms like persistent itching or changes in eyesight to your doctor immediately.

  • Check-Up Schedule:
    • 24 to 48 hours after surgery
    • One week post-surgery
    • One month post-surgery
    • Three months post-surgery
    • Six months post-surgery


How long after LASIK can I lift weights?

You can lift light weights about two to three days after LASIK, but keep training sessions light initially.

What exercises should you avoid after LASIK?

To prevent injury after LASIK, avoid high-impact exercises, swimming, and contact sports for at least a week.

How long after eye surgery can you exercise?

Light exercise like walking may be permitted shortly after surgery, but consult your doctor before resuming more strenuous activity.

Can I do pushups after LASIK?

You might need to wait several days before doing pushups after LASIK to avoid straining or increasing eye pressure.

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