Weight loss surgery patients find that success comes from not only the surgery, but from lifestyle changes that their bariatric surgery center help them achieve. Exercise is an important component of healthy living and weight management after bariatric surgery. How soon can you start exercising after weight loss surgery? Bariatric surgeon Dr. Aviv Ben-Meir shares what he recommends for his patients.
Why do I need to ease into exercise?
While exercise is important on your weight loss journey, patients should ease into exercise slowly after surgery to minimize the risk of developing hernias. Easing into exercise also helps minimize your risk of becoming dehydrated because replacing fluid lost through sweating is initially difficult after surgery.
For the first week after your surgery, we recommend walking short distances multiple times each day, not with the goal of burning calories or working up a sweat, but rather to reduce the risk of developing blood clots or pneumonia. When you can drink fluid easily enough to account for sweating, you can walk more vigorously or try cardio exercises such as using a treadmill, elliptical trainer, recumbent bicycle or jogging. We don’t want you to lift weights, swim or do abdominal exercises for at least 6 weeks after surgery. At that point, your muscles will be healed from surgery and your risk of hernia decreases drastically.
Tailor your program
Each patient’s exercise recommendations will vary, which is why our office encourages all patients to work closely with us when starting an exercise routine. Some patients may have medical conditions that require medical clearance to exercise.
Take the first step
Learn more about the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center team’s approach to weight loss surgery: