We get lots of questions about bariatric exercises. In other words, people ask the weight-loss surgery experts at WeightWise about physical activity and exercise plans that will get the blood pumpin’ and the heart rate jumpin’ after their surgical procedures.
Before we dig into this topic, please note: It’s important to speak with your doctor about any exercise plans you may be interested in post-op. Regardless of which metabolic and bariatric surgery you’ve opted for, there are specifics about your situation (medical conditions, general health and wellbeing, and age, for example) that factor into designing an appropriate bariatric exercise plan.
We know how much bariatric surgeries help obese patients with many ailments (sleep apnea, high blood pressure, etc.). Some patients opt for the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; others, in consultation with their surgeon, choose gastric sleeve or another type of surgery.
Some surgeries create a small pouch in the stomach, while other procedures reroute part of the small intestine.
In any case, the decision to have bariatric surgery that reduces the amount of food one can consume is never an easy one. For some patients, bariatric surgery represents the best option — or the only option.
Don’t worry, though. WeightWise is here to answer all your questions so you feel comfortable taking the next step in your journey to health and wellness. If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you, and we are honored that you have chosen us to be your partner in this journey.
Bariatric Exercise and You
Whether it was a long-lasting injury, a debilitating personal issue, or just an unhealthy lifestyle, becoming obese or morbidly obese doesn’t happen overnight. And it will take hard work after surgery to achieve a healthy weight once again.
Weight loss surgery is just one piece of the puzzle. Studies have shown the best way to lose up to 80 percent of unwanted weight is surgery, a healthy diet, and exercise. And not just for a few months after surgery, either. To reach a healthy weight, and stay there, it must be a life-long commitment.
Exercising After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery patients will not be competing in triathlons in the weeks after a procedure. However, they will be able to plan and take part in specialized exercise programs almost immediately. For some, this could be walking around the neighborhood for 15 minutes to 30 minutes a day.
For others, it could be starting an exercise routine involving resistance training and flexibility improvement after your doctor or exercise physiologist gives you the go-ahead. It doesn’t matter what the long-term goal is, either cardiovascular improvement or building muscle mass. The important thing to remember is your body is going through a massive change.
So start slow. Walking is a good first step (so to speak) and can be accomplished by almost any patient. Walking around the block for a week, then increasing it to two blocks if you can. Every little bit helps get your body used to activity – sometimes for the first time in years.
Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. The type of surgery you have will also determine how quickly you return to normal day-to-day activity. You’ll be able to return to those normal activities also immediately after laparoscopic surgery, a series of small incisions.
How Do You Tighten Skin After Weight Loss Surgery?
After 12 months of healthy eating and exercise, bariatric patients can expect to lose at least 65 percent of their excess weight. In some patients, that can be well over 100 pounds! This could lead to “sagging” skin, a condition where excess skin is left behind after a massive weight loss.
So you are probably asking yourself, how do you tighten your skin after weight loss surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is an option, though many bariatric surgery patients prefer other steps to tighten the skin around their stomach, legs, and arms.
Some turn to strength training to develop lean muscle, which will help decrease the appearance of loose skin. Other exercises can help improve muscle mass and perhaps return some elasticity to the skin. These include swimming, jogging, cycling, yoga, and other aerobic exercises.
Although we said it’s important to start slow, you should build up to around 150 minutes of activity every week. This can be accomplished by exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Work With Weight Loss Experts
Meeting with an exercise physiologist is just part of the WeightWise program. We take a three-prong approach to bariatric surgery. Many facilities just work on one aspect of weight loss. With WeightWise, we take a holistic approach: There is the surgery itself, developing a nutrition plan, and creating a personalized workout routine.
All three work together to help you lose weight and keep the weight off. We want to stress this is not a six-month or two-year process. You will need to fully embrace this new healthier lifestyle in order to keep the weight off. This isn’t a diet or short-term workout plan – this is your new life.
When working with WeightWise, you will first meet with a bariatric surgeon. This conversation is to make sure you’re a viable candidate for the program. During this time, the doctor will find out more about you. Health history, the health history of your family, and if there are any injuries or factors that could hinder your weight loss.
This is also the time for you to ask questions about WeightWise. You’ll learn about different procedures, timelines for weight loss, and what to expect in the weeks and months after surgery. If you have any concerns or questions, now is that time to ask them.
If accepted, you will then meet with a dietitian and exercise physiologist. In both cases, you will discuss any issues that may interfere with your diet or exercise needs. For example, our diets may call for the lean protein found in fish or poultry. This will be a problem for a vegetarian or vegan diet.
That’s why we take the time to learn about each and every patient. Although there are similarities in diets, bariatric surgeries may require different diets and workout routines. Every situation is different – there is no one program that applies to everyone.
All Under One Roof
We believe having access to all of the services in one place is the most beneficial way to have a procedure. Instead of making our patients drive all over town to meet with us, a dietitian, and an exercise physiologist at different locations. By offering everything in one place, you will receive a comprehensive and consistent plan.
WeightWise also assigns a patient advocate to everyone accepted into the program. At different times, you may have questions about billing, insurance, and recovery. Your patient advocate will be able to answer those questions, provide a shoulder to cry on, and act as a personal cheerleader!
Interested in learning more about our bariatric procedures or the program as a whole? Make sure to check out our free online seminar to see why our program is so successful and then make an appointment. We look forward to seeing how we can help you or a loved one.