4 Exercise Tips for Bariatric Patients
Undergoing bariatric surgery is both a major procedure and significant life change. For this reason, your recovery post-surgery is paramount.
Bariatric patients have a lot to adjust to after this weight loss surgery. The most important of which is maintaining their health with a diet plan and exercise regime. With this in mind, it's important that bariatric patients find the right balance between recovery and exercise after this life-changing surgery.
If you're looking for a few simple tips on how to incorporate an exercise routine into your life, post-bariatric surgery, find it all in this blog post.
Exercise Tips for Post-Op Bariatric Patients
In order to reap the full benefits of bariatric surgery, patients are recommended to take part in three vital activities post-surgery:
- Try to follow a healthy and appropriate bariatric diet
- Participate in bariatric surgery or other weight loss support groups
- Try to follow a post-bariatric surgery exercise plan
But when it comes to incorporating exercise into your daily routine as a bariatric patient, it may seem completely overwhelming at first.
The good news is that exercise after surgery does not need to be overly complicated, vigorous or take up too much time.
Bariatric exercise should fit into your life as routinely and comfortably as possible.
Here are four quick tips to keep in mind before you journey into exercise after gastric sleeve surgery:
1. Start Slow
The key to integrating exercise after surgery is by slowly introducing it into your life and your daily routine.
You will need to check with your surgeon, but it's generally recommended that you begin light exercise 2-3 weeks after your surgery.
This light exercise should not consist of more than 20-30 minutes of walking, at least 2-3 times a week. As your endurance builds, you can increase your rate and intensity of exercise.
Initially, it's recommended that you spread your 20-30 minutes of walking throughout the day, instead of doing it all at once.
By starting slow, you will need to exercise in small increments, roughly 10-15 minutes at a time and build your stamina from there.
2. Establish a Manageable Routine
The quicker you realize that your end-goal is not to train like a young athlete, the easier it will be to integrate exercise into your life.
Being comfortable with a simple exercise routine makes your fitness goals far more achievable and far less daunting.
To exercise consistently is a great measure of success, and by doing so, you will inevitably build up your fitness and desire to exercise throughout the week.
Consistent, manageable exercise which can fit into your life is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle, BMI, and frame-of-mind.
3. Use a Combination of Exercises
In order to slowly build-up your fitness and strength levels, bariatric patients should ideally combine these three forms of exercise:
Walking is the top-rated bariatric exercise recommended by all surgeons to help build up your endurance and overall fitness.
While walking exercise plans vary from patient-to-patient, establish what works for you and concentrate on moving the goal post by 10% each day.
Once you are fully comfortable with your walking endurance, other exercises such as swimming and cycling can be incorporated into your regime.
Stretching and Flexibility
Maintaining your flexibility post-surgery, and as you age, cannot be stressed enough.
Stretching and maintaining flexibility ultimately helps to alleviate aches and pains which are associated with once being overweight, such as lower back pain.
To add to this, stretching also helps to improve coordination, your sense of balance, blood flow and reduced muscle stiffness.
Finally, once your fitness levels have increased, you should begin to incorporate strengthening exercises into your routine.
Examples of these include uphill and downhill walks, stair climbers, a pedal exerciser, cycling, swimming, and light weight-lifting.
4. Set and Track Your Goals
The only way to truly stay on-track with your goals is by writing them down and keeping yourself accountable by tracking your progress.
We are only human and it's in our nature to have slip-ups, bad days and even bad weeks.
Remember to not be too hard on yourself and keep your eye on the ultimate prize -which is your health.
Keep yourself motivated by working out with a partner, mixing up your workouts, sharing your progress or joining a gym or exercise class of your liking.
Considering Weight-Loss Surgery?
If you're looking to change your life and undergo weight loss surgery, Dr. Timothy Custer is your answer.
Based at Fairfield Medical Center in Central Ohio, he has performed over 1,000 weight-loss surgeries with great success.
Our bariatric patients will testify to our excellent, one-on-one, personalized service. Get in touch and book your appointment today.