Moving becomes easier as you lose weight after weight loss surgery. You may find yourself better able to play with your children, take your dog for a walk or climb the stairs at the mall—actions that might have been a challenge prior to bariatric surgery.
As you become able, consider incorporating exercise into your daily routine. There are a lot of health benefits that come with living an active lifestyle. Regular exercise:
- Increases your life expectancy
- Contributes to preventing some cancers, including colon and breast cancer
- Improves mood
- Tones muscles
- Reduces risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Prevents type-2 diabetes, and can help reverse the onset of diabetes in some cases
- Improves sleeping-habits
Prior to weight loss surgery, developing a more active lifestyle might have felt out of reach. Even losing just 10 percent of your excess weight may increase your comfort, level of mobility, and stamina to engage in activity. This means that several months after weight loss surgery, you may find yourself able and ready to start working out.
Getting Started with Fitness
You’ll likely start walking short distances within 24 to 48 hours following weight loss surgery. As your body heals, you can gradually start walking farther and faster. When you are first exploring your fitness options, a walking routine is a great option. However, your fitness pursuits aren’t limited to it.
Talk with your weight loss surgeon and confirm that you are in good shape to start exercising before trying any of these activities. On average:
- Swimming and other water-based activities are okay three weeks after surgery
- Body weight activities like sit-ups are okay six weeks after surgery
- Weight lifting activities are okay six weeks after surgery
These are just estimations, and it may take you longer than this to feel comfortable and ready to start exercising regularly. Listen to your body and talk with your weight loss surgeon to determine the best time to start working out.
Once you are ready, try finding an activity that you enjoy and can handle engaging in for 30 full minutes. If working out for 30 minutes at a time is challenging at first, consider breaking up your routine into smaller 10 minute workouts. Take it slow when starting out with these activities. Start with light weights, slow movements and be methodical. There are many different fitness resources out there. Take time to find one that is right for you.