Exercise After Weight-Loss Surgery

Couple walking on the beachExercise is recommended for success in achieving and maintaining weight loss. Develop and maintain a consistent exercise program to strengthen your heart and bones, burn calories, develop muscles, increase your metabolic rate, improve your mood and relieve stress. Exercising can also improve your blood sugar control.

Walking is an excellent exercise that you can begin immediately after your surgery. Start by walking 10 minutes a day at a fairly brisk pace. Increase your walk by one minute every few days. Working up to a minimum of 150 minutes per week (30 minutes/day, five days a week).

Remember, exercise needs to increase your heart rate, so gardening does not count. It is also recommended to add strength training to build and maintain muscle mass while toning your body, but please do not start strength training until at least six weeks after your surgery. It is important to allow your incisions to heal first. Please keep in mind that you may not lose weight if you are not exercising.

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Tips for Developing an Exercise Plan:

  • Find an exercise partner. You are more likely to stick to your plan if someone else is counting on you to be their exercise partner.
  • Join an exercise club, gym or class. Try all the classes they offer and find the ones you enjoy the most.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park your car as far from your destination as possible and walk.
  • Walk as often as you can.
  • Avoid using remote controls - get up and change the channel instead.
  • Listen to your favorite motivational music while you exercise.
  • Be creative! Try mall walking, aerobics, dancing or swimming.
  • If you have a dog, take your dog for a walk every day.
  • To look good and feel comfortable while exercising – wear comfortable workout clothes and shoes.
  • Pack a gym bag so you can head straight to the gym after work.
  • Adopt a weekly plan. Look at your schedule on Sundays and plan how you are going to fit physical activity into your schedule every day.