During these last dark days of winter, this quieter time of year is ideal for concentrating on your fitness efforts. Exercise is unique for everyone, based upon your overall health. Take the time now to try out new ways to move your body and boost your metabolism for optimal calorie-burning.
Let’s talk about why fitness matters during bariatric weight loss and weight maintenance:
The role of fitness after your weight loss surgery
The first year after your weight loss surgery, the weight comes off fairly steadily. But after you significantly lower your BMI or reach goal weight, weight loss slows. Perhaps you’ve even gained some weight back years after surgery.
If you completed your bariatric journey more than a year ago, a consistently active lifestyle is your ‘secret sauce’ to warding off weight regain.
For now, your exercise may be performed inside, but spring is right around the corner. Start now, lay the groundwork for success–if you’d like to start biking, do your research now and order a bicycle or borrow one. Are you interested in learning to play golf or hitting the tennis court? Do the legwork and get your equipment in order or hire an instructor.
Walking or a jog/walk is the easiest exercise and it’s addictive! You can get rid of hunger pangs, push aside a bad mood or rev up your energy just by taking a 30-minute walk. Pop on your headphones and walk longer without even realizing it!
Many of our patients choose walking as their exercise of choice, which is great. But it’s also important to change up your workout routine over time. So plan on adding a walk/jog or biking instead of walking a few times/week.
Adding additional forms of exercise will help to keep metabolism firing to burn as many calories as possible.
Find out more about our exclusive Back on Track program to help overcome bariatric regain.
Bariatric exercise guidelines
What kinds of fitness activities will you pursue and how will you fit working out into your daily schedule? How long should your workouts be and how strenuous?
For the first four to six weeks after surgery, focus on flexibility exercises, deep breathing and resuming normal daily activities.
Gradually build in consistent, low-intensity aerobic exercise (walking, biking, Zumba or swimming).
Expect to feel fatigued up to eight weeks after surgery. Your body is in the process of adjusting to your significantly lower caloric intake. Therefore, avoid higher-intensity workouts for now. As weight is lost and the level of fitness improves, you will be able to take in a few more calories and exercise at higher levels of intensity.
Don’t forget weight training—lifting light weights is key to maintaining lean muscle! Muscle is good for boosting metabolism, whereas fat is the culprit. Keep in mind, I’m not suggesting you lift heavy weights—multiple reps using light weights can also reap positive results.
Track your fitness progress
Using whatever digital or written method works for you, write down your daily fitness efforts each day. It will inspire you and serve as valuable insight for your bariatric team to review during office visits.
I also encourage patients to write down how they feel after working out; many report that physical fitness releases positive endorphins, decreases appetite and significantly boosts daily energy lasting several hours after exercise.
During your bariatric journey, your weight loss will speed up and slow down. Regardless, stay devoted to your exercise schedule and keep challenging yourself to move your body a little longer and farther every few weeks.
Make friends with fitness. It will always serve as the loyal backbone of your long-term weight maintenance.
Meet Dr. Adeyeri and Your Sterling Surgicare Team (Holmdel and Old Bridge, NJ)
Sterling Surgicare is a comprehensive surgical weight loss practice that specializes in bariatric surgery procedures including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric banding, gastric band removal, bariatric revision and duodenal switch. Under the director of medical director Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, we also regularly perform laparoscopic GI operations including hernia repair, gallbladder removal, appendix removal, colon surgery and other operations in the stomach region.
Call 732-217-3897 to learn more and schedule an in-person or telehealth visit with Dr. Adeyeri within the next week!