Exercise for bariatric surgery patients is a hot topic right now. Lots of people are wondering what they should do to get back in shape after their stomach reduction procedure, and lots of surgeons want them to exercise – but how?
What is bariatric surgery?
It means surgical treatment of obesity. It causes weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through the removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy). It also reduces the absorption of food by modifying the small intestine to decrease digestion.
When do we exercise post-bariatric surgery?
In general, patients should begin exercising six weeks after surgery, gradually increasing their pace and amount of time spent at each session. This is to avoid complications that may arise from a lack of activity or strenuous activity during the postoperative period. The patient’s gastric pouch might not have healed yet, and their new anatomy might not be stable. The best time to start exercising after weight loss surgery is when the healthcare team allots you a green light for doing so.
Exercises post-bariatric surgery.
The following are some common bariatric surgery exercises that most patients can do safely soon after surgery, in addition to an exercise program that you will discuss with your bariatric surgeon or therapist.
- Aerobic exercise: Activities for cardiovascular fitness, such as walking, bicycling, water aerobics, and using an elliptical machine (elliptical training), can all provide a safe way to increase your heart rate and work some muscles. Your body needs at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise activity three to five days a week.
- Strength training: Progressive weightlifting helps you build and maintain muscles, which in turn will help boost your metabolism or the rate at which your body burns energy throughout the day. Strength training involves slowly increasing how much weight you lift, carefully following instructions from an experienced trainer who can teach you the correct form and technique.
- Balance training: This type of exercise helps prevent falls, which are a risk as your weight loss progresses. Your physical therapist can teach you exercises for improving balance and coordination. Such activities might include standing on one leg or walking with eyes closed. It is also important to be aware of your environment at all times by making sure you can see where you are going and what is around you.
- Plyometrics: The exercises in this category involve repetitive jumping, hopping, or skipping movements that build muscle power and speed. Plyometric training might be done on a mini trampoline, with dumbbells (or no equipment at all), and includes such moves as jumping jacks, frog jumps, and overhead squats. If you get bariatric surgery in Arizona at least, most doctors will consult you on whether you should engage in polymetric based on your health condition.
- Flexibility training: This type of exercise improves the range of motion in your joints. Flexibility exercises might include stretching or yoga. You can begin these types of activities once you feel your body is ready for them, and the healthcare team gives you the go-ahead to do so.
Fitting exercise into your day
Lifestyle After Weight Loss Surgery includes eating smaller meals and getting more exercise. In general, you can get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week if it is broken up into shorter periods of time. You can join a bariatric exercise program if you want.