Working out after bariatric surgery is an important part of a successful maintenance and self-care plan. It can also feel very daunting. Especially if exercise has not previously been part of your routine, getting started can arouse feelings of anxiety. Fear not. Getting started is easier than you think. Try these tips for easing into exercise after weight loss surgery.
The tendency with any new activity is to go all out. We go hard, quickly get hurt, and then we give up. You don’t have to exercise for an hour every day to get the benefits of being active. Just twenty minutes most days of the week can help you reduce abdominal (or dangerous visceral fat), reduce risk of heart disease, improve blood sugar control and strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles. To start, consider working out ten minutes in the morning and ten in the evening. You can add time and intensity as you advance in your recovery and with your healthcare provider’s go ahead.
Schedule time for fitness
The most common reasons given for skipping the workout in favor of the couch are time and lack of energy. Many of us report being so busy we have no time for exercise. We are also too tired at the end of the day to do anything except crash on the couch. News Flash – exercise actually helps generate more energy so in time you find that you are less tired, not more tired. If getting started feels too tough, make it easy on yourself. Instead of planning for a 30 minute workout simply make a commitment to get in ten minutes. Who knows? You may do more but even if you don’t you’ve added a few minutes to your exercise bank and every minute you deposit adds up to the dividend of good health. However much time you decide on, write it on your calendar to support your commitment.
Do what you like
Exercise is not one size fits all. Opt for activities that fit your fitness level, temperament and maybe even your geographic region. Maybe running isn’t for you but paddle boarding, dance or hiking is. Get creative with your exercise plan. The more you like it the more likely you are to stick with it – after all, no one wants to sign up for any activity that always feels like a chore.
Keep in touch
Having an exercise buddy is a great way to stay on the fitness bandwagon. Knowing your pal is expecting you makes it harder to bail out at the last minute. Be sure to choose someone that shares your exercise goals and interests. Add a little friendly competition and you’ve got the makings of a fitness partnership that helps you both look and feel your best. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider too. Report any concerns immediately so that you keep moving toward your health goals. You can do it.