Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, more and more people are worried about gaining weight or staying on their weight loss paths. Not only are we spending more time indoors, but it’s actually healthier to do so right now. Sticking to weight loss goals when we’re not allowed to go to the gym and are restricted to being inside can a bariatric patient’s nightmare.
First, it might be helpful to understand why exercise so important to bariatric weight loss patients. The goal of weight loss surgery is not to lose weight as fast as possible, but to lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off as you live a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Christopher Still, director of the Geisinger Obesity Institute explains:
“When we lose weight rapidly, we lose muscle. Muscle gauges and controls our metabolism. Exercise is a safe and effective way of maintaining lean body mass, which maintains metabolism and will facilitate [healthy] weight loss.”
So, how do we maintain our weight loss goals in our home? Of course, having your own equipment at home is helpful. If you are working from home, try bringing your laptop on a treadmill. If not, take a book or watch TV, but do it while moving, not seated on the couch. Also, you don’t need to own a top-of-the-line Peloton to stay in shape. Take a break every hour to lift weights or work with an exercise band – tools you can pick up almost anywhere.
To keep yourself interested and on track, follow these tips:
- Break up the routine. To begin your journey, 10 or 15 minutes a few times a day is just as effective as an hour all at once.
- Pick an activity that you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick with it.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Don’t push yourself beyond your abilities. Be patient–you’ll get there.
- Drink plenty of water!
In the first few weeks after your surgery, you should start your exercise regimen slowly and simply. Stick to low-impact stretches and simple exercises. These can include leg lifts, hamstring stretches, arm rotations, or light yoga. (Many videos are available online for free.) Choose a few that work well for you and alternate reps. After your body has had time to heal, you can work your way up to talking longer walks and incorporating cardio into your workout. This is especially tricky to do indoors, but certainly not impossible. There are a ton of great online workouts available for free during the coronavirus outbreak. Take advantage of them to see what you like without paying – you might stick with it after we finally get back to normal!