For many of us, exercising has never been a routine in our daily lives, especially for the morbidly obese. Physical activity is essential to feeling healthier, losing extra weight more quickly and keeping that weight off. Exercising and weight loss surgery should therefore go hand in hand. Exercising will only add to the many benefits you receive with weight loss. Joining a gym and or an exercise class is a great way to maintain your physical fitness, especially if you can find a partner. An exercise partner will give you a sense of responsibility if you know someone else is counting on you to be there. Not to mention, a gym offers a variety of exercise classes and equipment in addition to the use of personal trainers.
But, this is not possible for everyone considering the time and cost restraints we have in our daily lives. This does not mean we cannot increase our level of physical activity. Easier, less expensive ways to exercise include using stairs and not elevators or escalators, parking far away in parking lots instead of driving around for 5 minutes searching for the closest spot, walking with your children, pets, or partner after work if only for 15 minutes, and even changing the TV channel by hand and not by remote control. If you have access to a pool, there are multiple exercises you can perform that burn lots of calories and are low impact on your joints. All of these tiny activities that may sound useless add up to more calories burned in a day than we did prior to surgery. Remember, it is the calories burned against the calories eaten that make us lose weight, so don’t short change any type of physical activity.
Studies have also shown added benefits to patients who exercised after weight loss surgery compared to those that did not. These benefits included better improvement in insulin sensitivity and therefore blood sugar control.
It is also very helpful to post your plan on your refrigerator. This way every morning and evening you can see your plan and make sure it is accomplished. If you’re feeling like skipping a day and having an extra bite to eat, the plan on the fridge may motivate you to skip eating the extra calories and instead burn the extra calories. Just remember, this is a life long goal and each day becomes easier if you can get into a routine, see improvement, notice the health benefits, and feel stronger and more energetic. This journey will be well worth any investment you can give.