Postoperative fitness tips for bariatric patients looking for a fitness plan.
Many patients ask a common question:
When can I start exercising after my surgery?
Lets keep it simple.
Since all of the surgeries are minimally invasive meaning that small incisions with minimal pain, one should be ambulatory immediately after surgery.
So in the recovery room, one hour after your Gastric Sleeve surgery, bariatric patients should be up walking around.
Day 1 Surgery: I encourage bariatric patients to walk immediately. It’s okay to walk up stairs. Just take your time.
First Week: Continue only walking for the first week.
Second Week: You will be starting your second stage diet, which is the full liquid diet. This will increase your energy. So you can start faster walking, treadmill, elliptical and very light weights.
It’s okay to start swimming in a pool once your incisions are healed.
Three to Four weeks later: By now most bariatric patients have lost about 20 pounds and energy should be good. Continue to do fast walking, treadmill and elliptical. Continue with light weights and increase as comfort permits. After four weeks you should be on your way.
Most patients start joining gyms and slowly increase their workout routines as they see fit. It’s good to see a personal training for a few sessions to learn good basic skills and exercise techniques before moving on to more strenuous activities.
Five tips from Kelly Drew ‘Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist’ of The American College of Sports Medicine:
1. Plan a 10 minute walk after meals. To a busy person, 30 minutes of exercise daily can feel like an eternity. Where can I find 30 more minutes in my day? But, an extra 10 minutes can feel much more manageable.
A sneaky way of getting someone to do 30 minutes of walking per day is to ask clients to take a 10 minute walk after each meal. They feel better, tend to eat less, and are meeting the minimum requirements for exercise and health!
2. Be an early riser. I like to encourage bariatric patient beginners to set their alarm 30 minutes earlier than they usually get up. They can take that time to go for a short walk or jog, do some yoga, or even complete a quick exercise DVD routine. Most people find that they don’t miss that extra half-hour of sleep, and reap major rewards for starting the day off active!
3. Choose to be active. Take the stairs. Park further away. Take the dog for a walk. Walk over and talk to that coworker instead of sending an email. These choices do add up, and can help ease people into a more active lifestyle.
4. Make exercise a priority. If we wait until we have time to exercise, we will never exercise. Successful bariatric patient exercisers make exercise a priority. Look at the calendar for the week, and schedule the time that you are going to spend on yourself each day. If you make an appointment with yourself, you are more likely to keep that appointment.
5. No one is perfect. Read that again: no one is perfect. Everyone is allowed to have one bad day, just make sure that one bad day doesn’t turn into a bad month, followed by a bad year. Most people think that if they have a bad day or week, that they have failed and often stop their exercise habit.
If beginners fall off the wagon, encourage them to just jump back on. Consistency is key! Something is always better than nothing!
Remember that lifestyle change is a process, not a destination! Interested in weight loss surgery? Contact Las Vegas Bariatrics for a consultation!
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