Diet is a huge part of the aftercare process for bariatric surgery, but exercise is critical for healing and long-term weight loss and maintenance. Early on in recovery, we will ask that you get up and walk as much as possible each day. This helps avoid blood clots which are more likely in the first six weeks after surgery. This also helps jumpstart the weight loss process as well as increasing your muscle tone, despite significant caloric restriction.
You may find that walking long distances soon after surgery is impossible and that is perfectly normal. We want you to start slowly and increase your distances every day. If you feel any kind of pain or inordinate stress on your body, head back home and try again tomorrow. We do not want you injuring yourself or over-stressing your body in this early stage of recovery.
Over the medium to longer-term, you will embark upon a comprehensive exercise program that includes both cardio and strength training. We want you to work out at least four times a week for half an hour each session. However, you are welcome to supplement your workouts with brisk walks or swims during your off days. Strength training, using body weight or weights at the gym, is a critical part of this exercise program because it builds muscle. Muscle mass burns more calories at rest than fat, so it will be very useful for your long-term weight maintenance.
Importantly, during this medium-term weight loss phase, you are at a higher risk of injury. Therefore, it is extremely important that you do not push yourself too hard. As you start to lose weight and feel better, there is a distinct tendency to push yourself harder and harder. More often than not, this results in injury that can sideline you for weeks or months and derail all of the great progress that you have made
If you have Any questions about your exercise program, we encourage you to contact our office to understand if you need further guidance.