Creating A Physical Activity Timeline After Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery
There are many questions surrounding bariatric weight loss surgery. You’ve likely researched what your new life will entail after your procedure; eating habits, exercise, and weight loss expectations.
One important consideration to think about is the timeline in which you can expect to become active again. Of course, you won’t leave the hospital and immediately put on your sweatband. Follow these tips to get a better understanding of how your body will respond to bariatric weight loss surgery.
Immediately After Your Surgery
It is most important to take it slow at first. Avoid abdominal exertion and do not lift anything over 15 pounds until your body has had time to heal. As you begin introducing exercise to your daily routine, test your tolerance for pain in safe and minimal increments. Short walks and limited movements are a great place to begin.
That being said, the more active you feel comfortable being, the quicker your body will heal. Movement improves circulation and reduces your risk of blood clots. Even if you wait to begin an exercise regimen, the more you can get up and move around the better.
Pro tip: your body is getting used to a smaller intake of calories, which can result in fatigue. Give yourself a chance to adjust and remember that this a natural (in temporary) feeling.
1-2 Months After Surgery
You can now begin introducing cardio into your exercise routine. Cardio is essential in burning fat and gaining energy. Start with the goal of 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. After the first full month of healing, you’ll begin transitioning into your “new normal.” You can now resume heavy lifting and a new diet and exercise maintenance routine. Although your body is ready for your weight loss journey, remember to listen to any signs of distress. Rest when you need to, stay hydrated, and gradually challenge yourself – don’t try to run a marathon right out of the gate! Remember, it’s a weight loss journey, not a footrace.
Building a Healthy Lifestyle
Staying physically active is vital in meeting your weight loss goals. especially in the beginning, many people meet difficult barriers, such as joint pain, lack of energy, and fatigue. Follow these tips to help get you on a routine that will keep you on your weight loss path:
- Drink plenty of water. Your smaller stomach can make it tough for your body to absorb the water it needs, especially during and after exercise.
- Increase your exercise routine slowly–especially if it becomes easy
- If it hurts, stop doing that activity. You may need to adjust or give yourself a break
- Develop S.M.A.R.T. goals for your exercise program.
- Change up your workouts to prevent boredom and monotony. Be sure to choose activities you enjoy doing
- Find the best time of day to exercise that fits your lifestyle–there is no right or wrong time to work out!
- Leave at least 2 hours after eating before you exercise. This will help indigestion, heartburn, and stomach pains
- Keep walking shoes or a spare set of exercise clothes in your car for easy access
- Give your muscles at least 24 hours to recover before beginning the next workout
As you begin your weight loss journey, remember that it isn’t an overnight change. Your new lifestyle is a gradual shift to a healthier version of yourself. At Tri State bariatrics, we want to help you on your journey! Contact us today to learn more.