April 2021
Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

Exercise Schedule After Weight Loss Surgery

Green apple and few exercise equipments

When should you start exercising after WLS, and how far should you push yourself?

This exercise plan will help you through a healthy lifestyle.

Step 1.
Right After Bariatric Surgery: Take It Slow

It’s important to start gently, a brisk walk after surgery.
Remember: your body is still recovering, so listening to your body and your medical team is essential.

Aim to not walk for more than 15 minutes at a time. After surgery, you can walk around 20 minutes per day and gradually progress over the next 6-8 weeks toward your custom fitness goals, which will include cardio and resistance training.

However, it would help if you avoid anything more complicated than walking until six weeks after surgery.

Step 2.
2-4 Weeks After Surgery: Light Exercise

Woman Practicing Yoga - BN Healthy

Now that your body’s healing, you can start low-impact exercises of body weight.

Leg lifts, hamstring stretches, shoulder rolls, arm rotations can be great ways to build strength and flexibility.

You can also start going on longer walks or walking more quickly.

Step 3.
1-2 Months After Surgery: Cardio

As your body continues to heal and strengthen, it’s crucial to build moderate cardio workouts.

Cycling and water workouts are great exercises after bariatric surgery that are easier on your joints than running.

It would be best to start aiming to work out five days a week for 30 minutes per day and build from there.

It’s still important to listen to your body. 

When you’re doing cardio, aim not to sprint; you should be able to talk while working out. But, if you can sing while you’re doing any exercise, you may not be pushing yourself hard enough.

Step 4.
6 Weeks After Surgery: Strength & Weights Training

Woman Exercising with Dumbbells- BN Healthy

At this point, it’s important to start adding strength and weights training to your workout routine at least two days per week. 

Squats and lunges are great strengthening exercises. So is lifting weights. 

 We suggest you book a session with a trainer to get you started – this way, you will know what you are doing is safe and significantly effective.

Exercises like push-ups, dips and planking are functional and use LOTS of big muscles to perform = BURN LOTS OF ENERGY! Improving strength and stability.

At this point, you should be doing cardio training regularly five days a week, between half an hour and an hour each time. 

Aim to add at least two of your strength training workouts per week. However, don’t target the same muscle groups back to back. 

As you progress, you’ll gain to improve towards moderate and vigorous exercise physically.

Jacqui Lewis
BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

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