Exercises to Avoid After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is considered one of the best ways to lose weight when diet and exercise have failed. But bariatric surgery is not a substitute for diet and exercise. Once you’ve completed your surgery, you will need to start eating healthy and exercising regularly in order to help the weight loss occur.
However, bariatric surgery is surgery. Although it’s usually minimally invasive surgery, there are some risks and recovery that you need to keep in mind.
Recovery Following Bariatric Surgery
Recovering from bariatric surgery involves a liquid diet. For the first day, most patients will have a hard time even consuming ice and water. Eventually, they can move onto juice, broth, and fat-free milk. By the end of the first week, or shortly thereafter, they’ll be allowed yogurt, soft fruits, lean meat, and fish.
These types of extreme dietary restrictions speak to how delicate the body is following this surgery, and it could make exercise a bit more challenging. You’ll also have wounds that need to heal. While these wounds are not likely to be significant, you still need your body to heal. That is why in the earlier stages of recovery and weight loss, you may want to stay away from some exercises and speak to your doctor often about which exercises are best for you.
Exercise During the First Two Months
Unless your surgeon says otherwise, the only type of exercise you should be doing during the first two months following your bariatric surgery is walking. As your body is still weak and adapting to this major change, it’s important that you not push yourself. Take it slow at first. Try walking 10 minutes at a time. You can always do it again later in the day if you feel like more.
Although you are recovering, you should be walking right away. Indeed, your surgeon may tell you to start walking regularly the day you come home from surgery or within a few days. Walking increases blood flow around your body which helps you heal, and decreases the risk of complications from surgery.
The only other exercise that may be acceptable is water aerobics because of how low-impact it is. Even with this option, it’s important you stop once you feel that your body is being pushed too far, and talk to your surgeon to see if the water may interact with recovery.
During these first three months, abdominal exercises must be completely avoided. You need to let your incisions heal and reduce pressure on your stomach while it is still sensitive.
Exercise During the Third Month
By the second month, some patients begin feeling more comfortable and want to start lifting weights or jogging. But it is recommended that you first discuss this with your surgeon or your doctor, to ensure that your body is ready.
It’s important to remember that your sense of balance and coordination may be in flux. You’ve lost a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. If you haven’t been walking a lot already, don’t begin jogging or sign up for an aerobics class simply because it’s been three months. Get used to how it feels.
But right around the end of the 3 rd month you should be able to start picking up your exercise routine and do both aerobic (running) and anaerobic (muscle) workouts.
Exercise During Months Four to Six
After 4 months there are rarely any bariatric surgery related complications. After speaking with your doctor, you should be able to enjoy a wide range of exercises, including:
- Kettlebell routines
- Weight Training
It’s important that you find types of exercise you truly enjoy. This may take a while. No exercise routine is going to pay off if you quit because you’re not having fun, which is why even something as simple as walking can have significant effects if the patient does it on a regular basis for years to come.
Following bariatric surgery, exercise is just as important as eating fewer calories. Working out regularly will help you keep the weight off and build valuable muscle. It will also restore your sense of coordination, improve your physical health, and provide you with the weight loss and fitness goals you wanted.