While undergoing gastric sleeve or other 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 in this post we will focus on the importance of a regular work-out routine.
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.
Benefits of exercise after weight loss surgery
Regular exercise will help you recover faster, reach your weight loss goals, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 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.
Setting realistic goals and gradually increasing your daily activity level after surgery has many benefits, such as:
- Maintaining weight loss
- Improving circulation
- Strengthening your heart and bones
- Increasing your metabolic rate
- Developing muscle strength and endurance
- Improving blood sugar control
- Relieving stress
- Improving your mood
How to work out after weight loss surgery
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, if cleared by Dr. Long. 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 for those who have been very inactive prior to their procedure. But you are not alone. 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 the weight and keep it off.
Want to get to a place where you can exercise again?
Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery is a caring group of professionals who specialize in all types of bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery. We have the resources to help you prepare for surgery, undergo a successful surgery, and recover after, including personalized plans for diet and exercise. Visit us today at http://www.bmisurgery.com/ or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.