Getting Active

getting activeExercising before and after weight loss surgery will help you lose weight and keep it off. Regular exercise will burn off calories, strengthen your heart and bones, help you to develop strong muscles and increase your metabolic rate. Physical activity also relieves stress and improves your mood. For the best results, you should exercise before weight loss surgery.

The Benefits of Exercise Before Weight Loss Surgery

Optimize the benefits of your surgery by making weight loss a primary goal even before you schedule your procedure. Excess weight makes any type of surgery – including weight loss surgery – more challenging. Your surgeon may even require that you lose weight before your surgery to reduce your risk for complications.

Aerobic exercise, sometimes known as cardiovascular exercise, burns fat and calories quickly and improves your heart health. Start by increasing the intensity and volume of your daily activities. Clean your house more often, for example, and try to complete every chore a little faster each time you do it. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and increase the pace of each ascent.

Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery

In the first four weeks after weight loss surgery, your exercise routine will focus on deep breathing, flexibility and getting back into your daily routine.

Depending on your surgery, you may be able to resume low- to moderate-intensity exercise as soon as two weeks after the procedure. Gradually incorporate aerobic and other types of exercise into your daily routine.

Walking is a great way to start exercising after weight loss surgery because it is low-impact, convenient and easy to do. Start by taking a brisk 10-minute walk every other day for about a week. Increase the length of your walk by a minute every three to four days until you walk about 30 minutes per day, five days a week. Try to quicken the pace of each walk so that you cover more distance too.

As you improve your heart health through aerobic exercise, gradually incorporate strength-building and flexibility exercises into your routine. Strength building exercises, such as lifting weights, tones muscles and increases muscle mass. Flexibility exercises, such as yoga, improve your range of motion.

Consult with your surgeon to find out how exercise after weight loss surgery – and even before weight loss surgery – can optimize your results.