Bariatric surgery is a beneficial and powerful weight-loss tool, but it does not act as a miracle cure. To experience the best results after bariatric operations, you will need to commit to a consistent bariatric exercise regime and a healthy diet to be able to enhance your weight loss and feel better than ever. Having exercises after weight loss operations comes with a lot of benefits.
When shall I start doing exercise after bariatric surgery?
Physical activity after weight loss surgery can help you recover more quickly. It will help to enhance your blood circulation, promote wound healing, reduce the risk of blood clots, and improve your bowel function. During the first week, you may begin walking. Initially, try several short walks daily. You can move around the house, use the stairs at home, and take a shower.
If you have a laparoscopic operation, you should be able to do most of your regular activities in two to four weeks. It might take up to twelve weeks if you have an open surgery.
Walking is suggested on a regular basis to enhance your physical activity level. You should increase the intensity and distance if you feel fine. You can also walk 10,000 steps daily. Additionally, aerobic activities such as biking and brisk walking can be engaged soon after a weight-loss operation. Generally, these activities can be limited depending on the degree of discomfort they may cause.
You might start swimming once your surgeon is sure that the wounds have healed sufficiently. Activities involving lifting weights are more strenuous compared to the ones above are generally discouraged for three weeks after surgery. This may vary, so it’s better to consult your surgeon first.
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What kind of exercise can I do after weight-loss operation?
You will be given an exercise plan that begins gradually with low to moderate amounts of physical activities, such as 10 minutes a day. The exercise must be intense enough to leave you to get your heart beating faster and feeling out of breath.
You should have different types of exercises in your program that increase your endurance, strength, and flexibility. Try to mix aerobic exercises, to decrease your body fat, with weight resistance exercises that will build and strengthen your muscles.
The best kinds of activities to consider include low impact exercises such as swimming, walking, cycling, and dancing, Yoga, aerobics classes, jogging, and light weights which are so popular after bariatric surgery. There are four key areas you have to focus on when it comes to exercise. Let’s go through each of them.
1. Warm-ups and Cool-downs
It’s important to warm up before each bariatric workout and to cool down after. Warming up will improve blood circulation and loosen your muscles. While it can help you get the most out of your workout, it also avoids injuries.
You have to warm up for 5-10 minutes through light stretching, jumping jacks, light jogging or walking.
After workout, you must spend 5-10 minutes cooling down in order to down your heart rate and breathing slowly, which will prevent dizziness. It also lets your body get rid of the lactic acid that is created during a tough workout and is destructive for your muscles.
Regular cardio aerobic exercise has a lot of benefits. It might give you more energy and help you have a better sleep. Getting your blood pumping in a good way can boost your metabolism and level of energy.
In addition to it, cardio produces endorphins, which can increase your confidence and strengthen your lungs and heart, enhance bone density (which is important to ward off arthritis), and also boosts your ability to focus and mental sharpness.
Early after the operation, walking is suggested as it decreases complications and boosts your recovery. Eventually, water workouts and swimming might be very good low impact options. Hiking and running are very invigorating outdoor options.
3. Strength Training
Strength training is essential for maintaining your lean muscle mass and your body’s calorie-burning engine. It also helps improve your bones' strength. Strength training is highly beneficial for building muscles. Thus you can be more active and enjoy life more.
When it comes to strength training, starting slowly is the key. Begin with 1-5 pound weights and then increase weight when you can do three sets of 15-20 reps. If you feel sharp pain, don’t try to push through it; stop and try other exercises.
Lunges, lifting weights, and squats are all great bariatric exercises for strength training. Moreover, crunches, sit-ups, or other core exercises can be a perfect toning exercise after bariatric surgery and produce greater core strength to avoid future injuries.
Flexibility training is important to help you prevent injuring yourself. If you feel sore or tight after your bariatric exercise, flexibility training can be useful. It can also help you prevent straining yourself when you’re lifting weights or running.
Stretching is a great flexibility workout and it’s important to do it carefully.
- Don’t bounce up and down.
- Go far enough to feel a burn, but pull back if you feel a sharp pain.
- Take every stretch slowly and hold it for ten seconds.
How can an exercise program help me?
A healthy lifestyle incorporating an exercise program will offer you various benefits, including:
- Maintaining weight loss
- Decreasing your risk of heart disease development and some kinds of cancer
- Boosting your metabolism
- Helping maintain and develop muscle strength, endurance, and tone
- Enhancing your self-esteem and confidence
- Promoting joint stability, integrity, and bone strength
- Aiding your ability to perform routine life activities
- Enhancing your skin elasticity
- Improving your overall health, mental outlook, and well-being
- Elevating your mood, reducing stress and anxiety
Can exercising help me get rid of the excess skin after weight loss surgery?
While weight loss operation can successfully remove the fat in your body, it cannot result in your skin to revert to its pre-obesity firmness and tightness. If you have been obese for many years, you might be left with excess folds and rolls of skin, tummy, particularly around the breasts, limbs, and hips. These rolls and folds can be difficult to keep clean, so you might be vulnerable to developing infections and rashes.
Muscular toning will tighten up your saggy skin. However, you might consider a cosmetic operation to eradicate the excess skin. It is best to discuss with a consultant plastic surgeon your cosmetic surgery options such as breast lifts and an Abdominoplasty.
I didn’t use to exercise before having bariatric operation. Can I start doing it now?
If you haven’t been active or exercised for a long time before your weight-loss operation, it might be a daunting prospect to start an exercise program. Also, excess body weight often limits your ability to be active physically. It is crucial for you to understand how to work around these mobility restrictions.
- You will need to improve your own exercise routine that allows you to be active and get out.
- Swap screen time with time to enhance fitness and energy levels.
- Be sure to start off slowly to avoid injuries.
- Taking a 5 to 10-minute walk daily is a good start. Boost it until you are walking 15 minutes twice a day.
- You don't have to join a gym to exercise as there are many other possible options for you to choose, such as walking your dog, cycling, gardening, dancing around the house, playing sports, or housework. Consult with your bariatric surgeon to find the best exercise regime for you.
- It’s important to remember that if some parts of your body hurt when you are doing a specific exercise, you should stop doing it immediately.
- Define clear achievable goals for your exercise program.
- Try to do a variety of workouts to relieve boredom. It’s better to perform physical activities that are enjoyable for you. In this case, you will be motivated to continue doing them.
- Some activities like brisk walking, cycling, or gardening that do not need any special facility or equipment are easier to keep to.
- Determine the best time of day to exercise. While some individuals prefer exercising in the morning, others may like doing such activities in the evening.
- Start exercising at least two hours after eating. In this case you will avoid indigestion and heartburn.
- Give your muscles at least 24 hours to recover after a workout to allow them to strengthen properly.
- Drinking plenty of water is of great significance. Your smaller stomach following surgery can make it tough for your body to absorb the water it needs, especially during and after exercise. Always have water by your side to drink regularly.
- After weight loss operation, you will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements daily in order to prevent malnutrition. These kinds of supplements will also help you gain healthy muscle and bones, and even increase your energy since you’re fortifying your body with nutrients that it craves. Thus, the effectiveness of your exercise after bariatric surgery will be maximized.
Exercise plays an important role in helping bariatric patients to gain long term success in their aims to lose weight, maintain their desired weight once achieved, and live a healthy lifestyle. It is suggested to work with your bariatric surgeon and a fitness professional to plan a program that addresses your unique needs, such as your personal preferences, ability, and your goals for weight loss and a healthy active lifestyle.
Although losing weight is challenging at times and requires ongoing commitment, living with obesity is believed to be more difficult. You can ensure that with perseverance and dedication, you will be able to overcome all your weight-related problems and enhance your appearance to enjoy life more.