Exercise Before and After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery (also known as weight-loss surgery) is a fast and effective way to lose weight for those whose lives are endangered by severe obesity and/or the serious health conditions associated with it. However, when one chooses to have a bariatric procedure, they are not getting a quick fix. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires commitment to life-long change. Developing a sustainable and individualized diet and exercise plan that begins before surgery and resumes as soon as possible after surgery is very important for a successful outcome.

Patients who start an exercise regimen before surgery have been found to have better success in adjusting to exercising after surgery. Exercise can be quite difficult for the severely obese, so starting slow is imperative, and having a cardiac evaluation by your doctor before you start is important. For most, the goal should be 20-30 minutes of physical activity 3 times per week. Start by walking for 10 minutes twice per day or even marching for 20 minutes while seated in a chair. Even a small increase in exercise can improve a patient’s flexibility, range of motion, and balance, as well as decrease the chance of injury and soreness. Although it is sped up by bariatric surgery, weight loss requires time and effort to be effective. Begin your exercise with low-intensity, low-impact activities and, as you progress, gradually increase difficulty.

The most important part of your pre and post bariatric surgery exercise routine is to strengthen your heart. A healthy heart will help develop healthy muscles. Rapid weight loss can cause you to lose both fat and muscle. Since muscle is essential to a healthy metabolism, exercise is the safest and most effective way to maintain lean body mass and improve weight loss. Just like your diet, the goal of your post bariatric surgery exercise should not be just to look better but to live better.

If you are considering weight-loss surgery, contact Dr. Tsuda for a consultation.

Read more about beginning an exercise routine here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20048269

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