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Embracing Fitness: A Guide to Exercise After Gastric Sleeve and Bariatric Surgery

Before and After BMI

January 22, 2024

Embracing Fitness: A Guide to Exercise After Gastric Sleeve and Bariatric Surgery

For many individuals who have undergone gastric sleeve or other bariatric surgery, exercise is a crucial component of the journey towards long-term health and maintaining weight loss. However, navigating the world of physical activities post-surgery can be daunting. This guide aims to provide insights on when to start exercising, the best exercises after surgery, and how to build an effective exercise plan.

When to Start Exercising After Bariatric Surgery

The timeline for initiating exercise after bariatric surgery varies for each individual. Generally, light activities such as walking are encouraged soon after surgery, often on the same day as surgery. However, for more strenuous exercises, including strength training or lifting weights, it’s typically advised to wait until at least 2-3 weeks after surgery. Always consult your bariatric surgeon before starting any exercise routines to ensure they align with your recovery progress.

Safe and Effective Exercises Post-Bariatric Surgery

In the initial weeks after surgery, focus on gentle, low-impact exercises. Walking is an excellent way to start; gradually increase the duration and pace as your body heals. Over time, you can incorporate a variety of types of exercise into your routine:

  • Cardiovascular Workouts: Activities like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming boost your heart rate and enhance endurance. These exercises are beneficial for heart health and aid in losing weight.
  • Strength Training: After the first month and with your surgeon’s approval, you can begin strength training. Start with light weights and gradually increase the intensity. This type of exercise is crucial for building muscle, improving metabolism, and strengthening bones.
  • Flexibility Exercises: Incorporating yoga or stretching into your exercise program enhances flexibility and aids in muscle recovery.

Exercises to Avoid Post-Surgery: None!!

Gradually Increasing Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

Starting slow and gradually building up your activity level is key. Initially, your exercise routines may only last for a few minutes a day. As your body adapts, you can slowly increase both the intensity and duration of your workouts. Monitoring your heart rate during exercise and staying within a safe range is also important.

Benefits of Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

Regular exercise after weight loss surgery offers numerous benefits:

  • Enhanced Weight Loss: Exercise boosts metabolism and helps in burning calories, aiding in more efficient weight loss and maintaining weight loss in the long term.
  • Improved Muscle Tone: Strength training post-surgery prevents muscle loss and helps in toning the body.
  • Better Mental Health: Regular physical activity can improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.

Incorporating exercise into your life after gastric sleeve or bariatric surgery is a pivotal step towards a healthier, more active lifestyle. Remember, every individual’s recovery and abilities are different. Start exercising at a pace that feels right for you, and always follow the guidance of your bariatric surgeon or healthcare provider.

If you’ve recently undergone bariatric surgery and are looking for tailored advice on developing an effective exercise plan, our team at BMI is here to assist you. Reach out to us to schedule a consultation and embark on your journey to optimal health and fitness with confidence and support. Together, we can create a balanced approach to exercise that complements your weight loss goals and promotes lifelong well-being.