How to Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery


Exercise plays a critical role in helping bariatric patients to achieve long term success in their goals to lose weight, live a healthy lifestyle and maintain their desired weight once achieved. Physical activity after weight loss surgery will help you recover more quickly. It will help improve your circulation, reduce the risk of blood clotting, promote wound healing and improve your bowel function.

You should have an exercise plan that starts gradually with low to moderate amounts of physical exercise, before the amount is gradually increased. The exercise should be intense enough to leave you feeling out of breath and get your heart beating faster.

When you feel ready, you should look to include a variety of exercises in your program, that increase your endurance, flexibility and strength. Try to combine aerobic exercises, to reduce your body fat, with weight resistance exercises that will build and strengthen your muscles.

The best types of activities to choose from include low impact exercises such as swimming, cycling and walking. Yoga, dancing, jogging, aerobics classes and light weights are also popular after bariatric surgery.

It is recommended that adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. One way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week. Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week, or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.

While weight loss surgery can successfully remove the fat in your body, it cannot cause your skin to revert to its pre-obesity tightness and firmness. If you have been obese, especially for many years, you may be left with excess folds and rolls of skin, particularly around the breasts, tummy, hips and limbs. These folds and rolls can be difficult to keep clean so you may be vulnerable to developing rashes and infections.

Muscular toning will help tighten and firm up your saggy skin. However, you may consider cosmetic surgery to remove the excess skin. It is best to discuss with a consultant plastic surgeon your cosmetic surgery options such as an apronectomy and breast uplifts.

Begin your exercise program gradually and increase how much you exercise. It is recommended that you work with your surgeon and a fitness professional to develop a program that addresses your unique needs including your personal preferences, ability and your goals for weight loss and a healthy, active lifestyle.


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