Weight Loss Surgery & Fitness

Excess body weight can often restrict an individual’s physical activity and it important to understand how to work around these mobility issues and limitations. Weight loss will always be the number one objective since decreasing weight allows for more mobility and puts less stress on the bones and joints, and increases your overall health.

If you have a BMI greater than 30 follow these physical activity recommendations.

  1. Increase daily activity: For example washing the dishes by hand, cleaning the house, parking further away, use stairs instead of escalators or elevators, walking the dog, etc..
  2. Exercising: start slow and gradually progress until you can tolerate up to 30—60 mins of physical activity per day. If your bmi is greater than 35 try to avoid activities that would create greater stress on the bones and joints, (i.e. jumping, jogging, contact sports) Aerobic exercises are the best, start at a low intensity and gradually increase as tolerated. (i.e. walking biking, swimming)
  3. Emphasize duration over intensity.
  4. Try to choice an exercise that works around your physical activity. For example if you have major limitations in the lower extremities modify that exercise to alleviate that pain. ( i.e. strength exercises from a seated position rather than standing)
  5. Strength training should consist of 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions and use light to moderate heavy weights. The goal of this is to maintain lean muscle not to bulk up.

During the first six weeks after surgery exercise and physical activity must be limited to allow healing of the body. We do not allow any heavy lift of anything greater than 15lbs. We ask that you avoid abdominal exercises for the first 6-8 weeks. Due to possible Fatigue and the significant reduction in caloric intake during the first few weeks post-operatively patients should not be performing any high intensity activity. Our office and doctors will ask that you only perform light cardio such as walking or the stationary bike during the first few weeks after surgery.

If patients are interested in an exercise program within the first 8 weeks after surgery, Tristate Bariatrics and Access Physical Therapy have developed a Post-op Strength and Conditioning program for patients. This is an 8 week supervised program where you learn how to promote weight loss through progressive aerobic exercises to help improve mobility, function, muscle mass and strength, as well as to increase resting metabolic rate. Please ask the TSB staff for additional information if interested in this program. At the moment this program is only offered in Rockland County at Access Physical Therapy in New City, NY and Pomona, NY. We will be able to offer this program to Orange County patients in the near future in the Access Physical therapy locations in Monroe, NY and Middletown, NY.

Physical Activity is one of the major determining factors that will help patients to achieve their weight loss goals. This and a well-balanced healthy diet are the main factors that will affect the amount of weight loss a patient has. We will highly recommend some type of physical activity before and after surgery and I hope by reading this article it will help patients to start to make the necessary changes needed to aid in the success of weight loss surgery.

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