Physical exercise is just as important as diet after bariatric surgery to regain a healthy lifestyle. Weight loss patients can stabilize their weight easily by combining an active exercise routine that will complement better eating habits. Regular exercise is also important to halt muscle loss than occur when the body loses weight rapidly. In addition, it boosts metabolic rate which assists in burning calories even when you are not exercising.
How to Start Exercising
Because most bariatric surgery patients are sedentary, doctors recommend that you start slowing with walking, even before having weight loss surgery. Walking just 10 minutes a day prior to your procedure will help initiate a habit that you must continue once you have surgery.
For best results, begin your walking program within a month after surgery. One week after surgery try to walk for 15 to 20 minutes each day. In the summertime or whenever the weather is hot and humid, walk inside on a treadmill in a climate-controlled environment to avoid dehydration. Slowly increase your walking time each week until you reach 40 to 60 minutes of activity. The limited diet that bariatric surgery requires you to eat will not allow you to do much more than walking at first. Begin with a slow pace and increase it accordingly as you feel stronger. To prevent overexertion, spread your walking times throughout the day, especially in the weeks immediately following surgery.
Adding Onto Your Program
A successful exercise program following bariatric surgery must be progressive. However, you should wait at least six weeks before attempting something more vigorous because if you start too early, you can slow the healing process, be prone to infection and even rupture your incisions. Add to your routine by adding training with light free weights, working with a trainer, if possible. Gentle yoga is also a good element to add. As the weeks and months pass, you will need to keep adding time and other elements to your program to remain successful in your weight loss goals.
For the best exercises after bariatric surgery find something that you enjoy and stick with it. A cycling class may burn more calories than walking, but if you don’t do it because you dread it, that’s not the exercise for you. Try aerobics classes, strength classes, dancing, bicycling outside, power walking, whatever suits your fancy. Stick to a routine of at least 45 minutes a day four times a week and you’ll not only lose weight, you’ll feel stronger and healthier too.