Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery

Is exercise after weight loss surgery really necessary? The answer is yes! By focusing both on smart eating habits and regular physical activity, you can maintain a healthy weight and ensure that you don’t take in more calories than your body needs each day.

overweight male walking_jpgIf you’ve had weight loss surgery, you may be tempted to consider it a complete cure. But you need to resist this temptation if you really want to take control of your weight for good.

Yes, the surgery is part of the cure for obesity – but it is only a part. The complete cure is found only in a total change of lifestyle, including new eating habits and increased exercise after weight loss surgery. In other words, even if you’ve had successful weight loss surgery, you can’t afford to ignore diet and fitness.

Exercise after gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding, or any other bariatric procedure is critical if you want to maintain your weight loss. Even light exercise also helps post-operative patients lose more weight and lose it faster. And weight maintenance becomes much easier when regular physical activity is part of your daily routine.

Preserve Muscle While Burning Fat

Another benefit of even low-impact exercise is that you can build and preserve lean muscle, which will boost your metabolism. Often, patients can lose muscle as well as fat after weight loss surgery. By incorporating regular physical activity into your new lifestyle, you can maintain your calorie-burning lean body mass, keeping your metabolism higher and the possibility of weight gain lower.

But, how active should your lifestyle be after weight loss surgery? Most weight loss surgeons recommend a routine involving at least 200 minutes per week of walking or other moderate or vigorous exercise. That sounds like a huge number, but it really breaks down to about 30 minutes per day. Since the average American watches more than four hours of TV daily, finding 30 minutes for exercise shouldn’t be an issue.

Get Moving to Reap Big Rewards

What’s the payoff for your new fitness routine? Better health. Research shows that active, post-operative weight loss surgery patients shed more pounds than do inactive patients, while reducing the incidence of depression and anxiety, reducing stress, and improving their overall mood. Weight loss surgery patients who stay physically active also report fewer post-surgical complications than do sedentary patients.

When it comes to exercise after weight loss surgery, however, it’s important to take it easy at first: 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity three days a week should be plenty. In the first weeks after surgery, ten minutes of fast walking twice a day is a great start. If you have back or knee trouble, try 20 minutes of brisk marching while sitting in a chair, or get a recumbent bike to minimize pressure on your joints.

As you lose weight, set your workout timer for longer periods; 30 minutes of continuous exercise 3-5 days a week is a great goal. This can include speed-walking, biking, or swimming, resistance training with dumbbells, yoga, dancing, aerobics or kickboxing.

In time, you can work yourself up to 45 minutes of good solid exercise at least 4-5 days per week. At that point, the end result of exercise after weight loss surgery will be plain: a slim, toned, healthy new you!

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.