The only way to successfully lose weight after bariatric surgery is to create a post surgery exercise plan. Although weight loss surgery will help you cut down the amount of calories that you consume, exercise will build muscle--speeding up your weight loss process and preparing you for a new, healthy lifestyle. The key to making your post bariatric surgery exercise plan is to start slow and to set realistic goals. No one is expecting you to run a marathon your first week home from surgery. In fact, pushing yourself too hard can result in injury, which can actually hinder your weight goals. Make sure to follow these steps when building your post surgery exercise plan.
1) Keep in contact with your bariatric surgeon.
This is the most important step of all. When making your post bariatric surgery exercise plan, it is important to keep in contact with your bariatric surgeon. They are the only ones that can make the final decision about what exercises are best for you in your unique situation. If you ever feel pain or discomfort when working out, contact your doctor immediately. There is a difference between sore muscles and sharp pain. If something feels a little off, it is always a good idea to contact your doctor.
2) Set realistic goals.
It can be challenging to stay motivated, but setting goals can help. After talking with your doctor about what exercises are best for you, go home and make a list of which exercises that you will complete on which days. About 2 weeks after bariatric surgery you should be able to begin your exercise routine. Here is a rough timeline of when you can begin starting different types of exercises (remember this is an estimate, only your doctor can tell you the perfect timeline for you):
Low-impact exercises (2-4 weeks after surgery)
Aerobics and Cardio (1-3 months after surgery)
Strength training (4 months after surgery)
3) Celebrate small accomplishments.
Changing your lifestyle is not easy, so start small. As soon as you recover enough to begin walking, start by walking about 5-10 minutes a day around your neighborhood. As you become stronger, start adding on increments of 5 minutes, with the goal of walking at least 30 minutes without stopping. When you reach this goal make sure that you take time to celebrate your accomplishment. Go out to the movies or cook yourself your favorite meal (but try to keep it at least a little healthy).
4) Make it a habit.
Studies show that it takes 21 days to build a habit. It may seem difficult to incorporate an exercise schedule into your routine at first, but just remind yourself that you are doing this for a reason. Whether it is to build your self confidence, have more energy with your family, or just to live a healthier life, you won’t be able to get there without hard work. Every time that you go to the gym or walk around your neighborhood, proceed with the end in mind. Before you know it, exercise will be a regular part of your life and you will be a happier and healthier version of yourself.