After you have bariatric surgery, your life will be changed forever. If you play your cards right, that transformation will change you dramatically for the better. One of your “aces in the hole” is regular exercise.
While bariatric surgery is an amazing tool, you still have to put in some work to meet your goals. Exercise is still an important element in not only maintaining a healthy weight, but taking advantage of all the other potential health benefits that come with it.
While it’s recommended you exercise post-bariatric surgery just like everyone else, your approach will be different, at least in the initial months after the procedure. In addition to being mindful of your recovery process, your prior fitness experience needs to be considered. Both of these factors will play a part in what your doctor will recommend for your post-bariatric exercise regimen.
Often, doctors will recommend very low impact exercise for the first one to three months after surgery. This might simply be a walking regimen as your body heals. But there are other exercises that are at a similar level of difficulty.
Low Impact Exercises
Walking – It’s as simple as can be, but don’t underestimate the benefits walking can bring, including increased stamina and strengthening your body. You can start with just 10 minutes, then work your way up to 30 minutes. As you feel more comfortable you can increase your pace as well.
In addition to walking, here are some other low impact exercises you will likely be able to do a few weeks after your surgery:
Sitting Exercises – Some exercises don’t even require you to get out of your seat! You can grab a chair and do arm rotations and leg lifts. With arm rotations, you lift your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder length and do small circular rotations forward and backward. This is a great arm-toning exercise. Sitting leg lifts to your front benefit your hips and thighs.
Once your body has sufficiently healed, more challenging exercises can be added to your routine, including:
Cycling – Going for bike rides is a low-impact exercise that you should be able to do shortly after your surgery.
Water aerobics – This is another great low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints. You can do water aerobics on your own or enjoy the social aspect of a group class.
Strength training – Once your doctor says you are ready, strength or resistance training is important for losing weight and building lean muscle. Both men and women benefit greatly from this type of exercise. Women in particular can help prevent bone loss, which often comes with middle age, with a steady strength training regimen.
Yoga – It’s become increasingly popular, and for good reason: yoga is great for building strength and improving your mental health. Don’t be fooled. Yoga isn’t just a bunch of easy stretching. Many movements are really challenging and need to be performed correctly after being adequately warmed up.
When you get to the point where you are fully recovered, take new exercises slowly. It’s better to ease in and use proper form than risk injury and deter your positive attitude.
Looking for more post-bariatric surgery exercise tips, or want to discuss your routine with an expert? Our team at Oregon Weight Loss Surgery is all ears. Contact us today!