Did you know that it is very important to exercise after bariatric surgery? Operations such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy help severely overweight persons establish new, healthier eating habits by greatly reducing food their intake. But these procedures only lay the foundation for a healthier lifestyle, which must include daily physical activity. Exercise will stimulate metabolic function and give patients the many other benefits that regular exercise provides.
When to Start
Within the first few days after surgery, you’ll be able to walk around and perform light activities for about 10 minutes at a time. You will gradually be able to tolerate longer periods of light walking and standing. About three weeks after your weight loss surgery, a regular exercise routine can be established.
When planning for exercise after weight loss surgery, be sure to consult with your doctor for guidance. Certain exercises, such as swimming or lifting, need to wait until after your weight loss surgeon has determined that you are completely healed.
Types of Exercises
As soon as you are cleared for exercise after bariatric surgery, you can start with these types of low impact exercises:
- Walking: Few exercises are as simple as getting up and walking around a while. Start with a few short walks each day, and then work your way up as you recover and build more stamina. Eventually, you should be able to walk about 10,000 steps each day.
- Leg lifts: There are a number of exercises you can perform while sitting in a chair, making these easy to do. One of these is leg lifts. While sitting, simply lift your knees up one after the other, as if you are marching in place.
- Arm rotations: Another good exercise for after bariatric surgery is arm rotations. You can do these while sitting also. Extend your arms out to shoulder height on both sides and rotate them around in small circles. As you go, switch between rotating forward and backward to work different muscles.
As the weeks progress, you can move on to low-impact cardio (swimming, biking, etc.) and from there to strength training. Of course, before increasing the intensity of your exercise or starting a new type of exercise after weight loss surgery, consult with your surgeon. Dr. Malladi can assist you with your weight loss plan and provide guidance for post bariatric surgery exercises that will help you continue on a healthy path.