Here as some tips on improving your energy output after surgery to work towards making exercise and physical activity part of life over the long term.
Don’t binge exercise, as this will turn you off it and leave you feeling exhausted rather than invigorated – which is the aim overall.
- Increase daily incidental activity. EG: wash the dishes by hand, clean the house, park further away, try using the stairs, etc.(this has been proven to improve weight loss better than bouts of exercise followed by sedentary living).
- Start slow and gradually progress until you’re exercising 60 minutes a day, six days/week.
- If your BMI is greater than 35, make every effort to avoid exercises that would create greater stress on your joints. Avoid activities such as jogging, jumping and competitive contact sports.
- Do exercise that is low to moderate in intensity. (walking, cycling, weights training) This is best for weight-loss.
- Select a form of exercise that works around any physical limitation. Eg – sore knees? Try elliptical trainer or bicycle)
- Strength training is great for weight loss - The goal is to maintain your lean muscle through the weight-loss phase. This keeps your metabolism ticking over = burns more energy / calories.
- Always remember that joint pain is not healthy pain. Modify if you need to – always seek professional advice so you are doing good not setting yourself up for injury and set backs
- Always change up your exercise routine (i.e., flexibility, cardio and strength training) every four to six weeks. Revise the intensity as you get fitter so you keep progressing
Exercise Guidelines for Each Stage
The best thing you can do to prepare for both before and after surgery is to increase your level of fitness. The better cardiovascular condition before surgery, the fewer complications experienced during and after surgery.
- Make weight-loss a primary goal of your exercise program. Excess fat can make the weight-loss surgery operation itself more challenging. And will ensure your surgery goes ahead as planned.
- Focus on cardiovascular exercise (activities that make you puff) to improve heart health, decrease body weight and help lose body fat before surgery.
If there are any postoperative complications, that is physical problems following the weight-loss surgery, schedule an appointment with your bariatric surgeon and follow the surgeon’s recommendations for an exercise program. For the first four weeks after surgery, focus on flexibility exercises, deep breathing and getting back into performing normal daily activities.
Gradually add low-intensity aerobic exercise (i.e. walking, biking or swimming). If the surgery was laparoscopic, it is generally safe to start exercising up to your pain threshold two weeks after surgery, but it is best to consult with your surgeon before starting any exercise program.
A lifelong exercise program is key to your long-term success. Bariatric surgery is a valuable tool for rapid weight-loss; however, in two to three years, if a physically active lifestyle has not been adopted the risk of weight regain is high.
Exercise is insurance for long-term weight-loss. If you can stick to this advice, you’ll be at a healthy weight and in good physical condition for years after your weight-loss surgery.
ALWAYS SEEK ADVICE IF YOU ARE NEW TO BEING ACTIVE – it will short cut your path to success, as well as reduce your risk of injury.
Invest in you – make yourself and your health a priority