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.
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.
There are so many benefits to incorporating exercise into your post-surgery routine beyond just weight loss. Here are just a few:
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 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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Opt for the stairs: Whenever possible, choose stairs over elevators to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine.
Park farther away: When driving to your destination, park further away and walk the extra distance to increase your daily step count.
Embrace walking: Incorporate walking into your daily routine as much as possible, as it's a low-impact activity suitable for most fitness levels.
Minimize sedentary habits: Instead of using remote controls, get up and change the channel manually to encourage more movement throughout the day.
Enjoy motivational tunes: Listen to your favorite upbeat music during workouts to help keep you energized and motivated.
Get creative with exercise: Explore various activities like mall walking, aerobics, dancing, or swimming to find enjoyable ways to stay active.
Walk your furry friend: If you have a dog, commit to daily walks to keep both you and your pet healthy and active.
Dress comfortably: Wear appropriate workout clothes and shoes that make you feel confident and comfortable during exercise.
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.
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.
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.
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.