Starting an exercise program after weight loss surgery can be difficult due to many reasons including post-op activity restrictions, lack of energy, adjusting to your new diet, complications with dehydration, and weight restrictions on exercise equipment. Diet restriction alone will cut the pounds, but without an exercise program you may not achieve optimal results. With a varied exercise program, you will increase your metabolic rate, increase fat loss, and improve healthy muscle growth. Exercise also helps improve circulation to wound sites and even help stabilize blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of depression!
The key for beginning a program is to start slow and choose exercises that are fulfilling and fun. It’s difficult to sustain a lifetime adjustment to your routine if you are dreading every minute of exercise. Below is an example of an exercise program to jump start your new life with a healthy body.
Step 1: Walk
Sounds simple right? You can start your exercise program the very day you have your weight loss surgery! Remember to start each new exercise slowly. Walk to the bathroom, to your hospital room door, down the halls etc. This not only will reduce surgical complications such as blood clots and pneumonias, it’s a great way to start your new routine of a healthy lifestyle. Activity restrictions after surgery consist of lifting restrictions, so you are able to participate in many types of aerobic activity such as walking. While recovering at home, remember to keep up this walking routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park your car further away from your destination. Walk a little more each day. Before you know it, you’ll be able to walk farther than you could have ever imagined before the surgery.
Step 2: Set Goals and Reward Yourself
Make sure to set specific and achievable goals. Aim for exercise at least 4 times per week. When you set exercise goals for the day, set DISTANCE goals instead of timed goals. If you set a goal to walk 15 minutes, you can walk as slow and leisurely as you like. If you set a goal to walk one block, it gives you incentive to be finished with your workout quicker and work harder.
Remember, don’t compare yourself to others. Your exercise program is just like it sounds… it’s YOURS. If you start your program by walking one-half a block and in a couple of days or weeks you make it to a whole block, be proud! You have accomplished something for yourself and your body.
Remember to reward yourself. Did you achieve your weekly or monthly goal? Reward yourself with non-food items.
Step 2: Gradually Add Intensity to Your Routine
Step 3: Overcome Health/Motivation Obstacles
Do you have trouble getting motivated? Include a friend in your exercise program. You can be each other’s accountibilibuddy. As with everything in life, the distance goes a lot faster and easier if you have a friend by your side. Making a schedule of what your fitness goals are for the week helps too!
Do you have sore joints? Try water aerobics or a stationary bicycle.
Do you have a lot of stress in your life? Try yoga or pilates
Do you love the outdoors or get bored easily? Try hiking, biking, even paddle boarding!
Your weight loss surgery has given you a new opportunity in life. You can be healthy and fit, just like you have always wanted. The surgery helps you to eat smaller portions, but exercise is a necessity for your surgery to be a success. For more information on weight loss surgery in florida schedule a free weight loss surgery consultation with Dr Kahlil Shillingford, located in Boca Raton.