Adjusting to Exercise after Weight Loss Surgery

Adjusting to Exercise after Weight Loss Surgery in Ft. MyersTo create your ideal workout plan, you have to first figure out where you need the most improvement. Once your body is ready for exercise after sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band surgery, you can put yourself through a short personal fitness assessment to figure out your ideal starting place.

Take out a notebook and log your results for the following challenges:

  • How far can you walk in 10 minutes?
  • How many times can you do a simple bicep-curl with a five-pound weight?
  • Stand in front of a sturdy chair. How many times can you stand up and sit down before becoming short of breath?
  • Bending at your waist while sitting, how far can you reach your fingers? Your knees, toes, thighs or somewhere in between? Try this activity from a chair if you do not yet feel comfortable on the ground.
  • What is your pulse before working out, and what is your pulse after 10 minutes of activity?

Answers to these tasks will give you a strong starting point to work from and will help you create realistic fitness goals. Keep the answers to these questions and track your progress periodically to see how far you’ve come.

Finding Exercises for You

Once you know where you need improvement, you can find activities that will target that area of physical fitness.

Strength Training

If bicep curls were difficult with five-pound weights, you need to focus on building upper-body strength. Your local gym is equipped with many weight training machines that reduce risk of injury by guiding motions and making it possible to work out without a reliable spotter.

In lieu of free weights, you can start building strength by using resistance bands, or try lifting full water bottles.

Cardiovascular Activity

If you had trouble walking for 30 minutes, it’s time to focus on cardio. This form of exercise increases your heart rate and promotes blood circulation.

Examples of cardio activities include:

  • Walking: Don’t push yourself too far at first. Start out by walking in 10 minute increments, and push yourself farther and longer as you feel able. Treadmills are a great resource for increasing your distance.
  • Water aerobics: Exercising in the water removes a lot of resistance and can help you improve strength and flexibility as you improve your endurance.
  • Biking: Riding a bike may be difficult at first, but in time this may prove to be a valuable form of fitness for you. Try using stationary bikes to engage your legs without worrying about balance. Incumbent stationary bikes may be more comfortable when you are starting out.

Flexibility

Flexibility influences every aspect of physical fitness. It improves strength and range of motion, making every exercise a bit easier. You can do simple stretches at home, or you can go to a class for some guidance on basic stretches.

Some classes combine strength, cardio and flexibility training, helping you improve all three at once. Examples include:

  • Yoga: This is great for beginners and advanced athletes. Tell your instructor it is your first course and he or she will be happy to offer extra guidance.
  • Pilates: This exercise uses aspects of yoga but adds resistance and some other devices to encourage strength building.

Basic yoga and Pilates poses call for mild knee bends and arm extensions. You can also use a sturdy chair to modify poses as you get started.

Once you find an activity that is both challenging and enjoyable, set up a schedule and stick to it. Aim to work out every day you can, and try to incorporate a variety of activities to keep yourself interested.