Aquatic Exercise after Weight Loss Surgery

Aquatic Exercise after Weight Loss SurgeryExercise will need to become a more important part of your life after weight loss surgery, and certain activities will be especially useful to you as you start to lose weight. Water-based workouts are among the most highly-recommended activities after weight loss surgery because:

  • Water supports your body during exercise. The buoyancy of the water around you will reduce the impact on your joints. This makes it possible to do many exercises that joint pain and other physical limitations of your weight may make too difficult on land.
  • Water provides resistance. Because moving through water requires more effort than moving through air, any activity in water can help you build muscles and improve your strength more than exercising on land.
  • Water keeps you cool and comfortable. Cool water all around you can help you avoid overheating, which can be especially valuable in the middle of a hot Florida summer.

Though you’ll need to wait until we tell you that you’re all set to start working out, benefits like these make water workouts great for beginning an exercise routine after bariatric surgery. Of course, you should also be a strong swimmer if you intend on going beyond the shallow end, and remember that you’ll still need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Many gyms have pools that are perfect for water workouts, while some neighborhoods also offer their residents access to a community pool. If you’re confident in your swimming ability, you can also try to get an aquatic workout at some of the beaches around Naples and Ft. Myers.

As you focus on weight loss, help yourself exercise safely and effectively by trying water-based exercises like:

  • Underwater jogging. Stand in waist-deep water and start jogging in place, using the same motion you normally would on land. Once you’re comfortable doing this in shallow water, you can try moving deeper for a more challenging workout.
  • Treading in intervals. Head into neck-deep water and tread in 30 second bursts, taking breaks between to rest by floating on your back for 30 seconds. Do as many bursts as you feel comfortable with.
  • Dolphin kicks. Face one wall of the pool in shallow or deep water. Hang on to the edge with one hand and place the other flat against the wall in front of you for stability. Extend your legs out behind you to bring your body into a horizontal position, then kick both legs together as if you have a dolphin’s tail. In 30 second intervals, kick hard to make big waves, but remember to be respectful of other swimmers around you.

These are far from the only ways to exercise in water, but they’re good starting points as you build your fitness after bariatric surgery. You can also see if a gym near you offers aquatic aerobics classes, which will give you the help of an instructor who may be able to offer tips on adapting water workouts to your fitness level.