Physical activity is an important factor of your weight loss plan after bariatric surgery. However, don’t expect to be able to jump right in immediately. Your body needs plenty of time to fully heal and recover from surgery first. After your weight loss surgery you will work closely with your weight loss surgery team to determine the best types of activity for you and how soon you can begin.
In the beginning of your weight loss surgery recovery, you may feel tired, fatigued or weak, but after a few weeks of recovery time, you’ll start to feel better. This is the time when we recommend you begin low-impact activity. Low-impact activities are light activities that don’t put much stress on the joints in your ankles, knees or hips. After bariatric surgery, it’s important to make sure you’re remaining active without putting too much strain on your body.
Types of Low-Impact Activities after Bariatric Surgery
- Walking. Walking is relaxing and stress-free. It’s a way to increase your heart rate and gently strengthen your muscles. You’ll want to start off with shorter walks, but as time passes, you’ll be able to take longer walks and even incorporate dumbbells or wrist weights to increase your strength.
- Swimming or water aerobics. Water activities are beneficial because of the resistance the water provides. You receive a better workout than you realize without putting too much strain on your body.
- Yoga. Like swimming and walking, yoga provides a calm, stress-free aerobic workout. Yoga is relaxing and offers you time to mediate and de-stress.
- Cycling. Riding your bike is another option if you have sore feet, weak ankles or just don’t prefer walking. You can leisurely ride at your own pace so that you won’t overwork yourself
Gentle and low-impact movements like the ones listed above are ideal for your post-bariatric lifestyle. Eventually you can consult your weight loss surgeon about increasing your daily activity.
Opportunities for Incidental Activities
Although it is recommended, you don’t always have to stick to the above activities. There are other ways to remain active after your weight loss surgery that you may not even realize. These are called incidental activities, or activities that are performed as part of carrying out a normal daily routine. Incidental activities may include:
- Parking farther away from your destination instead of looking for the closest spot. This will force you to walk more.
- Taking the stairs instead of an elevator
- Sweeping, gardening or other chores that require you to move around.
- Being active while watching television or when you’re on the phone. Stand up and walk around instead of remaining stationary.
Just keep in mind your limitations after your bariatric surgery. It will take time to heal and adjust, but daily activities and exercise will improve your moods and leave you feeling more energetic, all while keeping you on track with your weight loss goals.