Following weight loss surgery, being physically active is key to achieving, and maintaining your goal weight. For many who have been overweight or obese for a long time, the idea of running, jumping, or doing intense workouts can be overwhelming. Don’t let fear stop you! Low impact exercises can help you recover from your weight loss surgery, improve your bowel functioning, and even make it easier to deal with day-to-day stress.
What Is Low Impact Exercise?
Exercises that can be performed with little to no stress of the joints in your knees, ankles, and hips are often referred to as being either ‘no-impact’ or ‘low-impact’ – this means no jumping (activities where both feet leave the ground), repetitive pounding of the feet (jumping rope or step aerobics), or abrupt movements that are jarring on the joints.
By avoiding activities that are jarring on your joints and body, you can cut the risk of injuries like strains and fractures of the hip, ankle, and wrists. Low impact exercise is especially helpful if you suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis.
Low Impact Workout Ideas
Virtually any exercise that you can do without placing strain on your joints can be considered low impact. Here are some ideas you can use to find the perfect post-surgical fitness routine for you:
Water-based activities are great exercises that are very gentle on your joints. Activities include lap swimming, water yoga and aquafit classes. Many local recreation centers, YMCA locations, and fitness facilities offer a wide variety of water-based workouts, including ones designed for beginners.
Yoga is also the perfect low impact exercise, and in most communities you can find a wide range of yoga classes designed to suit everyone from novices to experts. There are even a number of plus-size yoga programs designed to make participants of all sizes feel welcome.
Riding a bike is a great way to build up your leg strength and cardiovascular endurance, whether you choose to cycle on an indoor trainer or outside on a path. If you find sitting on a traditional upright exercise bike to be uncomfortable, try a recumbent bike – these machines have a low, chair-like seating position that takes the pressure off your seat and tailbone area.
An elliptical machine lets you enjoy a high-energy workout that’s similar to running, but without the jarring on your knees and feet. When you walk or run on an elliptical machine, your feet remain flat, and you can control the speed, resistance, and arm movements, making this a great alternative to high-impact cardio workouts.
Before beginning any new workouts, even low-impact exercises, it’s important to consult with your doctor or bariatric surgeon to make sure they are safe for you. To learn more about working out after weight loss surgery, contact us in Albertville at 256-960-8043 or Guntersville at 256-400-0027.