exercise during holidays
While undergoing weight loss surgery is a huge step in your journey toward better health, your work does not stop once your procedure is complete. Diet and exercise will play a significant role in your long-term success, and a regular work-out routine is crucial.

That fact does not change because of the holidays or colder weather! It really becomes even more important, but your commitment to your healthy lifestyle may really be tested.

Here is some information about WHY exercise is so important. We are focusing mostly on exercise after weight loss surgery, but most of this advice applies to anyone who needs to lose weight or is trying to do so on their own.

Why Exercise is So Important During the Holidays (And Always)

Exercise can help you lose more weight and keep it off after surgery. According to several studies by the National Institutes of Health, those who exercised after weight loss surgery saw their body mass index (BMI) decrease 4.2% more than those who did not.

Regular exercise will also help you recover faster, reach your weight loss goals, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and feel better. Even if your activity level before surgery was very low, we will work with you to find an exercise plan to meet your unique needs and abilities.

During the holidays when there are more sugary, rich foods floating around, we know that you may partake some. We urge you to be very careful in how much you eat and what you eat. One of the main reasons for this is that overeating or eating too much of the wrong foods will just make you feel bad. When you are used to eating in a very healthy way all the time and then you add in even a little bit of the foods you’ve been avoiding, your body may be a little confused. 

Continuing to exercise like normal will help counteract these effects and keep you feeling energetic, healthy, and motivated. Here are some of the best, overall benefits of regular exercise:

  • Helps maintain weight loss
  • Improves circulation
  • Strengthens your heart and bones
  • Increases your metabolic rate
  • Develops muscle strength and endurance
  • Improves blood sugar control
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves your mood

How to Work Out After Weight Loss Surgery

Even if you have recently had weight loss surgery around the holiday season, all of the following advice still applies. The rules are the same regardless of the time of year. 

For about four weeks after your surgery, your primary focus should be on getting back into the routine of your normal everyday activities. You should not lift anything over 10 pounds, but there are still plenty of ways to be active. During this stage, anything from washing dishes to going up and down the stairs in your home counts as activity. 

Walking is a great option during these first weeks. Walking improves your blood flow and expedites wound healing after surgery. Lack of exercise after a major operation could put you at a higher risk of developing a blood clot and conditions like pneumonia. 

You may want to set a goal to walk for a certain amount of time each day, then push yourself to walk a little more. Slowly increasing your activity level right after weight loss surgery will help you build up stamina and add more active habits in your daily routine.

The exact timeline for each patient may vary, but after about four weeks, we are able to clear most people for many types of exercise. This is when you can really start ramping up your work-out routine and begin exploring different types of exercises to find what you like best. You will be able to gradually incorporate low-intensity aerobic exercise at this point, such as biking or swimming. 

While there are many benefits of exercise after weight loss surgery, we know that it can be challenging, especially during a busy time of year like the holidays. But remember that many others have been through this process and come to love exercise. We’ve found that patients who seek out support, follow an exercise routine, and stick to a healthy diet are far more likely to lose weight and keep it off.

Learn more about weight loss options at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery.

The caring group of professionals at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery will help you get started on your weight loss journey and stay with you every step along the way. Dr. Long and his team specialize in all types of bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass, and the LAP-BAND. Visit us today at http://www.bmisurgery.com/ or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.