If you’re a recent weight loss surgery patient or are planning to get weight loss surgery, you may be wondering how you’ll be able to live a healthy and active lifestyle during recovery.
Losing weight and maintaining weight loss is a lot easier with a healthy diet and a solid exercise regimen. But weight loss surgery is somewhat demanding on the body, requiring a lengthy recovery period and a readjustment to eating regular foods. So how can you exercise after weight loss surgery? Here’s some good news.
When Can I Start Exercising After Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery recovery takes a few weeks. Most of that time will be spent relatively inactive while you nurse your body back to health. The changes to the digestive system and the occasional abdominal pain during recovery may make exercise seem like a pipe dream, but you can do a lot more than you think.
First, understand that these recommendations are very general and it’s your doctor that will let you know when it’s okay to start certain exercise protocols. Don’t ignore your doctor’s advice about exercise after weight loss surgery: every patient is different and everyone’s recovery is different.
Second, you won’t be able to do every exercise right at the same time. Some exercises need to be worked up to, and others will need some adjustments to fit your new lifestyle.
To answer the question, you will be able to start incorporating exercise into your routine after about two weeks post-op. Remember: ask your doctor if they think it’s okay for you to start exercising, and make sure they know what exercises you’ve been doing!
What Kind Of Exercises Should I Do After Weight Loss Surgery?
This is generally the first phase of exercise. Most weight loss surgery patients have lived most of their lives severely obese and as a result have not been able to be very active. If this is you, it’s even more important that you start with light walking!
Take about 3-5 minutes per day at first, then gradually add a little bit more time. If you’re heavier, you may not be able to walk unassisted yet: that’s okay, take your time!
Over the next few months, you may be able to graduate to a jog. However, don’t do this without consulting your doctor, especially if you’ve developed joint problems due to your old weight.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for overweight and obese people, even if they have not undergone weight loss surgery. It’s easy on the joints, it’s fun, and it burns far more calories than expected at first glance.
Swimming can be started around one month post-op, and should be started lightly. Swimming in a community pool and aiming for a single lap is an excellent place to start.
Weight training will help you maintain muscle mass as you lose fat. Maintaining muscle mass when losing weight is key to continued weight loss and healthy hormone levels.
When you start, use light dumbbells (2.5-5 lbs) and do basic lifts such as chest flys, shoulder presses, dumbbell rows, and lunges. As the weeks go on, slowly add more weight. Do this slowly and with your doctor’s supervision!
Heavy compound lifts with barbells should be avoided at first. Before you do them, bring the issue up with your doctor so they can assess whether or not they think it’s okay for you to do them.