Whether you’ve had gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or Lap Band surgery in Salt Lake City, working out on a daily basis is equally important. To enhance weight loss and sustain it, bariatric surgery patients need to work physical activity into their new healthy lifestyles. Instead of leaving your workout to consist of typical aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, remember that building muscle is important, too.
You may not be able to engage in muscle-building activities directly after surgery, but as you lose more weight and develop strength over time you’ll likely find it easier to do so. Some bariatric patients stay away from building muscle, fearing that it will only make them appear more bulky. However, building lean muscle can actually make you appear trimmer and even help you lose weight.
Still feeling wary about building muscle? Here are several reasons why it’s actually good for your health.
- Building muscle can actually help you lose weight. Muscle tissue burns more calories per day than fat tissue—so the more you have, the more calories you will burn. Some studies show that the body will continue to burn calories even hours after your workout is finished. Building lean muscle also helps you to appear trimmer and slimmer, helping to improve your exterior appearance while providing a mental boost in confidence.
- Building muscle helps protect your joints and bones. When you build and strengthen your muscles, the increased muscle power means less strain on your joints, bones and connective tissue when exerting yourself. Building lean muscle through strength-training can help increase bone density and cut your risk of injury, helping to ease and prevent pain related to arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Building muscle improves your heart health. Strong muscles can perform better with less oxygen, diminishing the amount of pumping your heart must do during physical activity. Building lean, strong muscle also helps to improve blood pressure.
- Building muscle helps your body fight free radicals. According to research, lifting weights on a regular basis to build muscle helps minimize free radical damage to the body more than living a sedentary lifestyle. This will protect your body from cellular damage and premature aging.
- Building muscle requires daily activity. To build and maintain strong muscle mass, you have to engage in physical activity on a regular basis. Not only does this help you build more muscle—it helps you maintain activity and a healthy lifestyle to sustain weight loss after bariatric surgery.
Is strength-training right for you?
Not all bariatric surgery patients will be able to engage in strength-training, and that’s okay. Strength-training is considered a high-intensity exercise, so people with excessive joint or bone pain may not be able to tolerate such activities. However, research does show that strength-training can help improve certain bone and joint-related health conditions—it just takes a little practice.
If you are interested in lifting weights to build lean muscle, it’s important to speak with your bariatric surgeon first to determine if such exercise is appropriate for your individual case. When partaking in a new strength-training routine, technique is key. It may help to speak with a personal trainer who is certified to help you address your personal goals and limitations before beginning a new workout program.