Weight loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, lets you lose weight and keep it off over an extended period of time. There are a variety of procedures you can get that help you lose weight by limiting how much food you can eat, and having an impact on your metabolism and fat-burning hormones in your body. Not only is dieting and watching how much you eat after surgery an important factor of losing weight, but the amount of exercise you get as well. Exercise is one of the most important aspects of losing weight and keeping it off, helping you to build lean muscle, and speed up your metabolism even further. Due to the recovery period, there are different exercises you can do at different times following surgery.
Exercising after weight loss surgery actually begins up to a year before surgery. This helps you in a variety of ways, including adjusting to an exercise plan, discovering exercises you are capable of doing, and helping you to lose a little weight before surgery. The more weight you can lose on your own, the better off you are going to be following your surgery. Most surgeons recommend 30 minutes of exercise, at least three days a week. Cardio and weight training combined are a good idea because this helps you burn calories and build muscle. In the beginning, fitness might be difficult, so try easing in by walking 10 minutes a day, 2-3 times a day, or even just marching in place.
The First 6 Months
After your surgery, your exercise will be gentle and you must wait until you get permission from your doctor. For the first few weeks, no exercise will be done aside from walking around slowly in order to get your blood moving. While you will be in pain, this little bit of movement is needed because it helps prevent blood clots. At around the month range, your doctor is going to start gradually increasing how much exercise you can do, up to six months. During this time, try to aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, 3-5 days a week. Some good exercises include walking, low-impact aerobics, swimming, and biking. Adding strength training is also helpful.
6-12 Months Following Surgery
The next six months you should be accustomed to working out for at least 30 minutes a day, and your body is starting to shed the pounds and become stronger. By this point, try gradually increasing your intensity and length of exercises, to about 45 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week or more. You don’t want to overdo it, but slowly increasing how much exercise you do helps you to avoid weight loss plateaus where you don’t lose any more weight. At this point, switch up the type of exercise you do, such as jogging instead of walking, taking a high-impact dance class, or add yoga along with your strength training and cardio.
Long-Term Exercise Plan
After you get past the year mark, you are considered in maintenance mode. Just because you have lost a good amount of weight by this point, doesn’t mean you stop the intensity of exercise. Getting regular fitness activity isn’t just important for weight loss, but maintaining that weight loss and keeping you physically healthy. You can increase your workouts, change them up, or even get a fitness trainer to kick it up a notch. You might add exercises like running, hiking, using a treadmill on a steeper incline, or more rigorous bicycling.
Remember when choosing physical fitness, you choose exercises that you enjoy the most. The more you enjoy your exercises, the more willing you will be to continue on this fitness plan.