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The Importance of Post-Botox Exercise Abstinence

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  • Post last modified:September 26, 2023

may have a reputation as an effortless “midday” treatment but it still comes with certain precautions. Of mention, providers typically advise refraining from physical activity after your appointment.

While some people have zero hesitation when directed to skip a workout (🙋🏻‍♀️), maybe you have a strict training schedule and are wondering if abstaining from workouts is necessary or suggested in an abundance of caution. To put it candidly, this is one rule you want to adhere to since working out too soon after a treatment could interfere with your results.

Before delving into the ‘why,’ it could be beneficial to refresh your knowledge on what even is.

What Is ?

is an injectable treatment that contains botulinum toxin. Along with , , , and the new FDA-approved Daxxify, falls under a category of medication referred to as neuromodulators, meaning that it impacts nerve signals. More specifically, when injected into a muscle, the botulinum toxin hinders a nerve signal that causes muscles to tighten, creating a temporary paralysis of the muscle. Many people turn to for aesthetic reasons, since the muscle relaxation effects can minimize the appearance of wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming, but providers also use to treat conditions such as migraines or temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Exercising After : What You Need to Know

As for why exercising right after can be problematic, that boils down to a bit of science involving preservative proteins (also referred to as hemagglutinin proteins) that make up part of the molecule. “After injection, it takes a few days for that preservative protein to dissociate from the active botulinum toxin molecule,” and for the toxin to attach to the muscle, says Alan Durkin, M.D., founder of Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery. The preservative protein must first separate from the core molecule in order for to do its job, he explains

Once divided, the fundamental molecule has the capacity to hinder nerves from discharging a substance named acetylcholine, which ordinarily initiates muscle tightening when your cerebrum instructs a muscle to shift.

However, during the period between injection and Botox attaching [to the muscle], there is a chance for the Botox to ‘migrate’ as it has not attached to the muscle,” he states. (That is to say, it can move away from where it was injected and affect a different muscle.) Exercise routines, particularly dynamic exercises, can “emphasize and amplify” the migration, explains Dr. Durkin. The injection area that poses the highest risk of migration is the “11 lines” between your eyebrows, and it can result in drooping eyelids (ptosis), he observes. Although uncommon, it is not something you should take chances with since the complication can persist for months without any available solution other than time.

The specific duration you should wait before exercising post-Botox will depend on your current fitness level and the intensity of your training. This is because your metabolic rate will impact how your body processes Botox, according to Dr. Durkin. (By the way, both increasing your strength training and cardio can contribute to raising your metabolic rate.) “Your metabolic rate will affect your Botox metabolism, as well as the metabolism of all neuromodulators,” he mentions. “All [neuromodulators] are influenced by activity.” Sedentary individuals typically observe an additional month of results compared to highly active individuals, he adds.

How Long You Should Wait to Exercise After Botox

Keeping that in mind, for athletes, Dr. Durkin recommends refraining from all exercise for 24 hours and waiting an additional three days before returning to any intense workouts. Those three days can involve gentle cardio that avoids any bouncing or rapid bending and straightening at the waist. This is because, once again, rapid, explosive movements such as plyometrics or exercises that generate power and speed can cause the injected substance to shift.

If you have a more moderate fitness level, he suggests a slightly different timetable. You can resume light cardio after 24 hours and more vigorous exercise after 48 hours. Additionally, he advises avoiding advanced yoga or stretching for 48 hours, regardless of your fitness level. Assuming various facial positions during yoga and stretching (for example, hanging your head upside down during downward-facing dog) can also cause the Botox to migrate, he explains.

Explore Botox Alternatives

Note that choosing a different injection of botulinum toxin can reduce your waiting time. “One option for getting someone back to exercise quickly is to use Xeomin, which is a preservative-free neuromodulator that attaches almost immediately,” states Dr. Durkin. “For these patients, all exercise, regardless of intensity, can be resumed, including yoga, in 48 hours.” This can be attributed to the aforementioned preservative proteins in Botox, which are absent in Xeomin due to a more thorough purification process. “Xeomin is essentially the same molecule as Botox in terms of its mechanism, but it does not contain preservatives,” explains Dr. Durkin. “It is simply a purer form of Botox. Xeomin attaches to the muscle almost instantly, so its chances of migration are lower in patients who like to move and exercise, such as athletes.”

Another advantage of Xeomin is that individuals who develop a high “tolerance” to Botox (meaning they require higher doses for the same effects) may not experience the same outcome with Xeomin, according to Dr. Durkin.

Durkin. That’s gratitude to a specific hemagglutinin protein (recall those?) that’s present in Botox but missing in Xeomin. “Hemagglutinin-33 has been proven to trigger an immunogenic response, indicating that hemagglutinin-33 may be accountable for the tolerance to Botox,” says Dr. Durkin. In other terms, it’s less probable that your body will develop antibodies against Xeomin. Both choices last anywhere from three to four months.

Whichever path you choose, it will be in your greatest interest to reduce the intensity of your exercises for a few days. Regard it as an opportunity to safeguard your investment while enjoying the advantages of regular rest days.

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