Exercise Tips After Bariatric Surgery

By Tijuana Bariatrics on January 29, 2018

Bariatric surgery is a powerful tool to help those who struggle with obesity lose weight and improve their health. However, bariatric surgery alone isn't enough to achieve their weight loss goals, which is why the team at Tijuana Bariatrics provides patients with tips for adding healthy habits to their routines. One of the most important habits for patients to begin after bariatric surgery is regular exercise. Regular exercise helps increase weight loss as well as improve muscle mass and overall health. To receive your personalized exercise tips after bariatric surgery, please schedule a consultation at our Tijuana, MX bariatrics center. In the meantime, these general exercise tips can help give you an idea of how to introduce exercise into your routine after bariatric surgery.

A woman doing yoga after bariatric surgery

The First Week After Surgery

During the initial recovery, it is important to begin taking slow, gentle walks. Strenuous exercise should be avoided in order to give the body time to heal. Keep walks short, about 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and stick to level ground. Light walks are recommended during the initial recovery phase to help the body become accustomed to activity, encourage blood circulation, and help begin the journey towards better health and weight loss.

Exercising During the Next Three Weeks of Recovery

During the second through fourth weeks of recovery, walking should continue. At this point, most patients will be advised to gradually increase the length and intensity of their walks. Patients are often advised to add low-impact exercises to help build strength and increase flexibility. Some exercises that can help build strength and flexibility include shoulder rolls, leg lifts, arm rotations, and stretches.

Six Weeks After Surgery

Strenuous activity should be avoided until approved by a doctor. Most people are cleared for moderate to strenuous activity about six weeks after surgery. At this point, it may be beneficial for patients to focus on adding cardio to their exercise routines with a goal of 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Swimming, water aerobics, and cycling are good options for starting a cardio routine as these are more gentle on the joints than jogging and running.

It is also recommended that patients add strength training two days per week to their exercise routine by lifting weights, doing squats, or starting yoga. Patients should be cautious when starting weight training and avoid lifting weights that are too heavy. Instead, start with light weights and gradually increase resistance to avoid injury.

Other Tips for Exercising After Bariatric Surgery

Regular exercise greatly contributes to weight loss after bariatric surgery. Some tips to help patients with exercising after bariatric surgery include:  

  • Include warmups: Warming up the body before exercising by doing about five minutes of light walking and stretching can help loosen the muscles and prepare the body for exercise, helping to reduce injury.
  • Include cooldowns: It is also important to include cooldowns after exercising by doing some slow stretches and deep breathing. This helps to bring the heart rate and breathing back down and release lactic acid that may build in the muscles during a workout.
  • Aim to increase activity: Patients should aim to gradually increase activity after bariatric surgery to reduce the risk of injury and complications. As the body becomes accustomed to more activity, it will be necessary to increase intensity and vary exercises to gently push the body and encourage weight loss.
  • Listen to your body: When adding any exercise to your routine it's important to listen to your body for signs of distress. Chest pains, nausea, sharp pain, and shortness of breath should not be ignored and brought to a medical professional's attention.

Schedule a Consultation

For more tips about exercising after bariatric surgery, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our team today.

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Dr. Garcia is awesome. I chose bariatrics vertical sleeve surgery. I've lost 85 lbs. since January 2017. No complications... I regret not doing this years ago. Debbie M.

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Tijuana Bariatrics Informational Phone Line

2534 State Street
Ste 417
San Diego, CA 92101

* no surgery procedures provided at this location

All Hours Directions (877) 233-9292

San Diego Office

2534 State Street
Ste 417
San Diego, CA 92101

Open Today 8:00am - 8:00pm

No surgery procedures provided at this location

All Hours Directions (800) 308-3607

Tijuana Office

Diego Rivera 2386, Ste 502
Zona Urbana Río Tijuana
Tijuana, BCN 22010

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All Hours Directions (664) 167-7290