Exercising After Weight Loss Surgery

Exercising After Bariatric Surgery

Exercise plays a crucial role in not only achieving your weight loss goals but also maintaining them in the long term. In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about exercising after weight loss surgery to help you get started on the right foot.

 

Risks Involved With Exercising After Bariatric Surgery

While exercise is an important part of the weight loss journey, there are certain risks that bariatric patients should be aware of before starting an exercise routine. One of the biggest risks is overexertion, which can lead to injury or strain on the body. Bariatric surgery changes the way the body absorbs nutrients and calories, which means that patients may experience fatigue or weakness during exercise. It's important to start slowly and gradually increase intensity to avoid pushing the body too hard. Additionally, complications from bariatric surgery, such as dehydration or nutrient deficiencies, may arise and affect your ability to exercise.

Another risk to consider is dehydration. Bariatric surgery can cause the body to have a reduced ability to absorb fluids, which means that patients need to be mindful of their water intake before, during, and after exercise. It's important to stay hydrated to prevent fatigue and to keep the body functioning properly. Additionally, certain types of weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass, can increase the risk of developing vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can affect the body's ability to exercise. Consuming appropriate bariatric food can help prevent these deficiencies. Also, those who have had gastric bypass surgery may need to avoid high-impact exercises that could cause stress to the stomach or intestines. 



Benefits of Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery

There are so many benefits to incorporating exercise into your post-surgery routine beyond just weight loss. Here are just a few:

  • Boosts metabolism: Exercise helps increase your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories even when at rest. This can aid in weight loss and weight maintenance.
  • Improves cardiovascular health: Exercise helps improve heart health, reduces the risk of heart disease, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Increases energy levels: Regular exercise can boost energy levels, reduce fatigue, and improve overall mood and well-being.
  • Muscle retention: When losing weight, it's important to preserve muscle mass. Exercise, particularly resistance training, can help preserve muscle tissue while losing fat.
  • Enhances weight loss: Exercise can aid in weight loss by burning calories and increasing metabolic rate. Regular exercise can also help with weight maintenance by preventing weight regain.

It's important to note that the benefits of exercise after bariatric surgery may not be immediate, and it's important to be patient and consistent with your routine. Over time, you may notice improvements in your stamina, endurance, and overall fitness level. 



Starting an Exercise Routine After Surgery

Starting an exercise routine after bariatric surgery can seem daunting, but it's an essential step towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. The key is to start slow and gradually increase intensity over time. It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard too soon, as this can lead to injury or setbacks. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Begin with low-impact exercises such as walking, stretching, swimming or yoga.
  • Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts over time.
  • Consider working with a personal trainer who has experience working with bariatric patients.
  • Track your progress using a fitness app or journal to keep you motivated and accountable. This will also help you keep track of what you’re physically able to do and slowly try to build that up.
  • Remember to always warm up before exercise and cool down afterwards to prevent injury.

In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are some fun and creative ways to make exercise more enjoyable. Creating a workout playlist, trying new fitness classes, or incorporating outdoor activities can make exercise more engaging. Setting achievable goals, finding a workout buddy, or rewarding yourself for progress can also help you stay motivated.

 

Best Exercises After Weight Loss Surgery

After weight loss surgery, it's important to start exercising and staying active. It’s best to start with exercises that are considered low-impact because these are more gentle on your joints. Here are some of the best exercises to consider:

  • Walking is a low-impact and accessible option for most people. It's easy to do and can be done almost anywhere.
  • Water aerobics is a great full-body workout that's gentle on the joints. It's also a great way to stay cool during hot summer months and meet some new people.
  • Biking is a cardiovascular exercise that can also strengthen your lower body muscles. It's a great way to get outdoors and explore new places. 
  • Spinning classes, just like biking, are a great way to burn calories and strengthen your lower body. 

Your local YMCA or similar local gyms offer many low-impact classes and should really be considered when looking for a way to improve your exercise regime.

 

Exercise Shouldn’t Be Painful

If you’re not used to exercising, you’re likely going to experience some muscle soreness for a while. But it’s important not to confuse soreness with pain. Exercise should never cause pain. If it does, there could be an underlying problem that makes it unsafe for you to exercise.

If you feel pain while exercising, don’t try to push through. You could end up injuring yourself and sabotage your weight loss goals. Talk to your doctor about any pain you experience exercising to find the culprit and what you can do going forward.

 

Tips for Creating an Exercise Routine After Bariatric Surgery:

  1. Team up with a workout buddy: Having an exercise partner can increase your motivation and commitment, as you both rely on each other for support and accountability.

  2. Explore various fitness options: Join a gym, exercise club, or class, and experiment with different activities to find the ones that suit your interests and capabilities best.

  3. Opt for the stairs: Whenever possible, choose stairs over elevators to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine.

  4. Park farther away: When driving to your destination, park further away and walk the extra distance to increase your daily step count.

  5. Embrace walking: Incorporate walking into your daily routine as much as possible, as it's a low-impact activity suitable for most fitness levels.

  6. Minimize sedentary habits: Instead of using remote controls, get up and change the channel manually to encourage more movement throughout the day.

  7. Enjoy motivational tunes: Listen to your favorite upbeat music during workouts to help keep you energized and motivated.

  8. Get creative with exercise: Explore various activities like mall walking, aerobics, dancing, or swimming to find enjoyable ways to stay active.

  9. Walk your furry friend: If you have a dog, commit to daily walks to keep both you and your pet healthy and active.

  10. Dress comfortably: Wear appropriate workout clothes and shoes that make you feel confident and comfortable during exercise.

  11. Prepare a gym bag: Keep a packed gym bag ready, so you can easily head to the gym after work or whenever it fits into your schedule.

  12. Plan your week: Review your weekly schedule in advance and designate specific times for physical activity each day, ensuring you stay on track with your fitness goals and bariatric post-op diet.

Conclusion

After undergoing bariatric surgery, incorporating exercise into your daily routine can have numerous benefits for your health and well-being. Regular exercise can help boost your energy levels, improve your cardiovascular health, enhance weight loss and maintenance, and improve your overall mood and mental health. It's important to note that the benefits of exercise after bariatric surgery may not be immediate, and remember to be patient and consistent with your routine. Over time, you should notice improvements in your stamina, endurance, and overall fitness level.



Reviewed By:

Kevin D. Huffman, D.O. is a board-certified bariatric physician who has dedicated his career to treating obesity. With over 10,000 patients under his care, he has become a respected authority in the field of bariatric medicine. Dr. Huffman has trained and mentored hundreds of healthcare providers and is widely recognized as a national leader in the field.

Dr. Huffman founded American Bariatric Consultants to develop treatment protocols and training materials. He has been sought out by medical societies, pharmaceutical companies, patients, and hospitals for his expertise in the art, science, and business of bariatric medicine. In addition to treating patients, Dr. Huffman prepares physicians for board certification in bariatric medicine, helping to expand access to this vital form of treatment.

Bariatric Guides & Information

The Importance of Protein After Bariatric Surgery
Why is Protein Important After Bariatric Surgery

The Importance of Protein After Bariatric Surgery

FDA Approval of Lap-Band 2.0 FLEX
FDA Approval of Lap-Band 2.0 FLEX

FDA Approval of Lap-Band 2.0 FLEX

What Foods Are In A Bariatric Diet?
what foods are in a bariatric diet?

What Foods Are In A Bariatric Diet?

Gastric Bypass Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide
Gastric Bypass Comprehensive Guide

Gastric Bypass Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide

Bariatric Surgery Pros and Cons: Is It Right For You?
pros and cons of weight loss surgery

Bariatric Surgery Pros and Cons: Is It Right For You?

Drinking Caffeine After Bariatric Surgery: What You Need to Know
Drinking Caffeine after bariatric surgery

Drinking Caffeine After Bariatric Surgery: What You Need to Know

What Foods Can You Not Eat Again After a Gastric Bypass?
What Foods Can You Not Eat Again After a Gastric Bypass?

What Foods Can You Not Eat Again After a Gastric Bypass?

6 Bariatric Surgery Scars and How to Deal with Them
how to deal with bariatric surgery scars

6 Bariatric Surgery Scars and How to Deal with Them

Bariatric-Friendly Foods: Essential Nutrition Post-Surgery
Bariatric friendly foods post surgery

Bariatric-Friendly Foods: Essential Nutrition Post-Surgery

How to Choose a Healthy Protein Shake as a Meal Replacement
the best protein shakes as meal replacements

How to Choose a Healthy Protein Shake as a Meal Replacement

Malnutrition: How To Avoid This Risk After Weight Loss Surgery
malnutrition after weight loss surgery

Malnutrition: How To Avoid This Risk After Weight Loss Surgery

Revision Surgeries after Bariatric Surgery
revision surgery after weight loss surgery

Revision Surgeries after Bariatric Surgery

More Info

What is a Bariatric Doctor?
What is a Bariatric Doctor?
November 23, 2023

What is a Bariatric Doctor?

Meal Replacements: 5 Reasons Why You Need Them
Meal Replacements: 5 Reasons Why You Need Them
October 16, 2023

Meal Replacements: 5 Reasons Why You Need Them

21 Bariatric Surgery Inspirational Quotes
Weight Loss Surgery Quotes
October 4, 2023

21 Bariatric Surgery Inspirational Quotes

The 10 Best Protein Shakes for Bariatric Patients
top 10 best bariatric protein shakes
October 4, 2023

The 10 Best Protein Shakes for Bariatric Patients

The Best Bariatric Vitamins: A Comprehensive Guide
best bariatric vitamins guide
October 4, 2023

The Best Bariatric Vitamins: A Comprehensive Guide

5 Possible Reasons For Your Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass
possible reasons for weight gain after gastric bypass surgery
October 3, 2023

5 Possible Reasons For Your Weight Gain After Gastric Bypass

Customer Favorites

Milk Chocolate Shake
Milk Chocolate Shake
Quick View

Milk Chocolate Shake

Price
$14.45
825
Cafe Mocha Shake
Cafe Mocha Shake
Quick View

Cafe Mocha Shake

Price
$14.45
724
Chocolate Brownie Shake
Chocolate Brownie Shake
Quick View

Chocolate Brownie Shake

Price
$14.45
681
Frosted Lemon Meringue
Frosted Lemon Meringue
Quick View

Frosted Lemon Meringue

Price
$14.95
547
Chocolate Chill Mint Shake
Chocolate Chill Mint Shake
Quick View

Chocolate Chill Mint Shake

Price
$14.45
431
French Vanilla Shake
French Vanilla Shake
Quick View

French Vanilla Shake

Price
$14.45
505
BARS - 15g Variety Pack
BARS - 15g Variety Pack
Quick View

BARS - 15g Variety Pack

Price
$14.95
437
Proti Wafer SQUARES
Options
Proti Wafer SQUARES
Quick View

Proti Wafer SQUARES

Price
$14.95
125
Cinnamon Crisp Bars
Cinnamon Crisp Bars
Quick View

Cinnamon Crisp Bars

Price
$14.95
311
Chocolate Salted Caramel Shake
Chocolate Salted Caramel Shake
Quick View

Chocolate Salted Caramel Shake

Price
$14.45
138