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When Can I Start Exercise After Bariatric Surgery?

Exercise Schedule After WLS


Would love your thoughts, please comment at the end of the post!

When do You Start Exercising?

As soon as possible! You may be asked to take short, slow-paced walks while you are still at the hospital.

“Six weeks is recommended to begin resistance exercises, like lifting weights, etc. All of the activities like running, swimming, yoga, and weight lifting can be done as soon as one feels able. It is always recommended, though, to visit your doctor before starting any new exercise routine” – Katelyn JM (Our US-RD)

The American Association of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercises per week. [1]Life After Bariatric Surgery.” American Association of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
View in Article

Work out After Surgery

Recommended Physical Activities Post Bariatric Surgery

  • Brisk walking
  • Light jogging
  • Zumba
  • Swimming
  • Working out on exercise machines

 

Exercising After Bariatric Surgery
Taking up low impact exercises in the first month after surgery, and then gradually building up your strength and stamina will help enhance the effectiveness of your weight loss program.

Cleveland Clinic recommends no strength training for at least the first three months after surgery. [2]“Life After Bariatric Surgery – Exercise After Bariatric Surgery.” Cleveland Clinic, View in Article

Develop an Appropriate Workout Schedule for Life, After Weight Loss Surgery

Obesity Action [3]Julia Karlstad. “Weight-Loss Surgery and Fitness – The Do’s and Don’ts for A Successful Exercise Program.” Obesity Action Coalition,
View in Article
suggests doing light breathing and flexibility activities for up to four weeks post-bariatric surgery. Exercises such as swimming and walking can be gradually incorporated in the daily schedule. It is advisable for open surgery patients to:

  • Not lift over 15 lbs for the first six weeks
  • Avoid exercises involving the stomach for about 8-12 weeks post-surgery
  • Avoid high-intensity workouts that may be tiring due to lower calorie intake
  • Consult your doctor before making changes in the physical activity schedule

On the other hand, individuals who have undergone laparoscopic bariatric surgery can start exercising much earlier.

Advantages of Working Out After WLS

Working out after bariatric surgery can help keep co-morbidities away, boost self-esteem and enhance the overall well-being of the individual. According to UC San Diego Health [4]Exercise After Weight-Loss Surgery.” UC San Diego Health – Bariatric and Metabolic Institute
View in Article

  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Increase the rate of metabolism
  • Help with maximizing weight loss by burning excess calories
  • Strengthen muscles and bones
  • Be a great stress buster

Therefore, start with an exercise program at the earliest, but make sure it doesn’t hurt your incisions.

Advantages of Workout After Bariatric Surgery

Our Bariatric Clients’ Experience With Workouts

  • For the first six weeks after surgery, most of our clients did light cardio.
  • Small session workouts helped them achieve daily physical activity goals.
  • They suggest using a workout bike or elliptical for the purpose.
  • Exercise during commercials or squats before going to the bathroom.
  • The body can get sore 4-5 days after working out and needs proper recovery time.
  • After 6-7 weeks, hikes, hitting gym and 20 min walking routines began.
  • While it is generally recommended to wait for six weeks to start with swimming, some of our clients were comfortable with getting into the water even two weeks after surgery. They ensured that their stitch line had healed before they hit the pool.

Can Exercise Tackle Excess Skin after Weight Loss Surgery?

Your weight loss surgery helps you shed weight and reduce the excess fat in your body, but it doesn’t revert your skin to its pre-obesity firmness. Firming up your sagging skin and rolls would require cosmetic surgery.

Resistance Training After Bariatric Surgery

Even after bariatric surgery, the right diet and a regular exercise routine is a necessity. Exercise improves health and has many physiological and psychological benefits as well. [5]Paul M. Coen and Bret H. Goodpaster. “A Role of Exercise after Bariatric Surgery” Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism 2016 Jan; 18(1): 16–23
View in Article

For exercise after bariatric surgery, it is advised to take it slow in the initial period and then, build your resistance.

Forms of resistance training infographic
Advantages of Resistance Training After Weight Loss Surgery

  • Muscle Toning
  • Improves balance
  • Weight management
  • Improves Posture
  • Betters bone density

How long after bariatric surgery can I start resistance training after bariatric surgery?

  • Wait for at least 6 weeks after weight loss surgery before you can take up resistance training with bands.[6]Post-operative Care – Exercise. UC San Diego Health. “Exercise After Weight-Loss Surgery“ View in Article
  • Start with brisk walking for 10 minutes a day 150 minutes a week.
  • Some other low-intensity exercises are yoga and cycling.
  • Remember, it is always recommended to seek your doctor’s advice before you take up any form of exercising.

References:

  1. Life After Bariatric Surgery.American Association of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
  2. Life After Bariatric Surgery – Exercise After Bariatric Surgery.Cleveland Clinic
  3. Julia Karlstad. “Weight-Loss Surgery and Fitness – The Do’s and Don’ts for A Successful Exercise Program.Obesity Action Coalition,
  4. Exercise After Weight-Loss Surgery.UC San Diego Health – Bariatric and Metabolic Institute
  5. Paul M. Coen and Bret H. Goodpaster. “A Role of Exercise after Bariatric SurgeryDiabetes Obesity and Metabolism 2016 Jan; 18(1): 16–23
  6. Post-operative Care – Exercise. UC San Diego Health. “Exercise After Weight-Loss Surgery

This Post Addresses

  • How long do you have to wait to workout after gastric sleeve?
  • Can you build muscle after gastric bypass surgery?
  • A post-bariatric surgery exercise plan
  • Exercise before bariatric surgery
  • Weight lifting after gastric sleeve
  • Training after gastric bypass surgery
  • When can I go to the gym after gastric sleeve surgery?
  • When can I go to the gym after gastric sleeve surgery?
  • Resistance training for post bariatric surgery patients

Move your body to see those pounds come off. An inspiring quote to help you kick-start your weight loss experience.

Bariatric Fitness Motivational Quote

Updated on August 1, 2019

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