Exercising after bariatric surgery gives your body the opportunity to lose more weight. But what exercise should you be doing?
Well I talk a lot about strength training after weight loss surgery but don’t forget that cardiovascular exercise is just as important.
There are two different types of endurance. You can have cardiovascular endurance, meaning your heart and lungs can help you sustain a good effort over a long period of time. You can also have muscular endurance, meaning your muscles can help you sustain a good effort over a long period of time.
Ideally, it’s great to have both cardiovascular and muscular endurance. The following endurance exercises can help beginners start improving their fitness endurance on all levels.
- The squat is one of the fundamental functional fitness exercises. Think about it; whenever you sit down you’re performing a squat. Start slow if you are just getting back into exercising after weight loss surgery. To do a squat, position your feet about shoulder width apart. Now bend your knees using your glutes and thigh muscles. Keep your weight in your heels and lower your hips to as far as your flexibility will allow. If you need assistance hold on to the back of a chair or table. Stand up. Repeat.
- If you are starting exercising after bariatric surgery getting up and down off the floor is something to avoid. So doing a plank seems out of the question. But the plank is a supreme core strength and endurance exercise that utilizes your entire group of back and abdominal muscles. Start by standing ~12” to 18” from a wall. Lean forward place your palms flat on the wall. Your arms should be straight with a slight bend in the elbow. Hold this position for ~ 20 seconds, repeat 4 to 5 times. Keep your body straight and tight. Don’t allow your knees to bend or your rear end to raise or lower.
- A cardio interval workout is a workout that involves running, race walking, cycling, swimming or another form of cardio exercise. If you have an elliptical machine or a rowing machine, you can do an interval workout on it. Warm up at a low intensity level for five minutes. Exercise at a moderate intensity level for five minutes. Now increase your effort and work out at an intense level for five minutes. Drop back down and reduce your intensity level to a moderate level for five minutes and alternate until you’ve been working out for thirty minutes, not including your five minute warm-up.
Combining these three exercises into a weekly workout will help you improve both muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Here are some more ideas for staying successful after your bariatric surgery.
Once you’ve added these beginner exercises into your weekly workout program, you may want to consider adding more exercises or increasing your intensity. For example, you might track how many squats you can do in a minute, rest a minute, and repeat for a period of five rounds. Or you might increase the length of time you spend on cardiovascular exercise. Instead of a thirty minute workout you could increase it to forty or forty-five.
After a few weeks of this though you will probably start to feel a bit bored and uninspired. What happening is that you have no real workout program. There is no plan to do different exercises as you progress. Yet there are a few ways you can go about mitigating that. Hiring a personal trainer is a good start if you find one that works for your location, budget and personality. There is also online personal training which is as close as you can get to hiring a personal trainer. The difference being you don’t have them right beside you for every workout. You do have there workouts though!
Whatever your choice , There are many benefits for exercising after bariatric surgery. It will improve your muscular and cardiovascular or aerobic endurance as well as help you continue to lose weight. Your metabolism will improve. You’ll reduce your risk of illness, sleep better, and have less stress.
Do you have any exercises that you have found to help you the most? Comment and let me know. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts.
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Geof has been working with bariatric surgery clients for over a decade. His goal with Phoenix Fitness is to give you the tools to make your weight loss successful for the long term.