Losing weight is about much more than just your diet. After weight loss surgery, you’ll need to devote yourself to a way of life that helps you keep off every pound you lose. Exercise after weight loss is an important part of necessary lifestyle change.
Many people do not make a habit of exercise before weight loss surgery, but it will be a necessity after your procedure. A routine of exercise after weight loss surgery will help you by:
- Building lean muscle to support your metabolism and develop a more athletic physique
- Improving your mood and reducing stress, anxiety and depression
- Shortening recovery time and reducing risk of complications
Though exercise can have a highly positive influence on your health and weight loss progress, you’ll need to approach your workouts carefully to avoid injury. Being extra careful is especially important as you initially adjust to your routine of exercise after bariatric surgery. Transitions will be much easier if you heed your weight loss surgeon’s recommendations for physical activity at every stage of your journey.
Help yourself ease into an injury-free exercise routine by:
- Starting small and building up. Your body may be unaccustomed to exercise, so help it adjust with gentle workouts that build your range of motion without putting you at risk of injury. Most people can implement a routine of exercise after weight loss surgery beginning two to three weeks post-surgery. As always, discuss with your bariatric surgeon before implementing an exercise routine. Start with low-impact exercises like walking, cycling and light strength training, going at a pace you can retain comfortably for at least five minutes without stopping. Gradually increase the amount of exercise you do as your fitness improves—aim to complete 30 minutes of exercise on at least three days each week by six months after your procedure.
- Listening to your body. The “no pain, no gain” mentality can be detrimental after weight loss surgery. Though your workouts should be challenging, doing too much too soon is a surefire way to set back your progress. If you ever find yourself dizzy, in pain, nauseated or out of breath, remember that there is no shame in taking a break. Recovery time is important—plan days off between your workouts to let your muscles recover.
- Developing a schedule that works for you. You will need to create an exercise schedule that fits into your daily routine. It may at first be difficult to find times to exercise, but you should treat workouts like any other important appointment. Writing down your workout plan can help, as can breaking exercise into shorter chunks that can be completed throughout the day. You should also plan to use a variety of different workouts that keep you interested and challenge your body in different ways.
Adjusting to an appropriate plan of exercise after weight loss surgery can be challenging, but being patient with your changing body can smooth the transition. For more advice on easing into exercise, speak with your bariatric surgeon. You can also give us a call in Albertville at 256.840.5547 or in Guntersville at 256.571.8734.