If you’ve been considering bariatric surgery or had bariatric surgery, you may already know that exercise is crucial for your long term weight loss success.
How soon can you exercise after weight loss surgery
Your exercise routine actually begins right away, before you leave the hospital. Expect to be asked to get up and walk around your hospital room. Although this is done to prevent blood clots, consider this as a ‘practice’ to your regular exercise routine.
When you were preparing for your surgery, your bariatric team discussed your timeline for movement and activity and shared safe post-surgical exercises you can do at home, such as walking.. Feel free to ask your team any clarification if there are unclear instructions in the plan.
Two to four (2-4) weeks after surgery
During this time, you can slowly transition to some light flexibility exercises. This can include doing shoulder rolls, arm rotations, and leg stretches. At this stage, you can also start increasing the duration and pace of your walks.
Five to six (5-6) weeks after surgery
If you’ve been consistent with your flexibility exercises/stretches and walks during the first month, you may notice an improvement in your strength. At this point, if your incisions have healed well, you can start incorporating gentle cardio exercises.
Aside from walking, water aerobics and cycling are good forms of cardio exercises especially if you have bad knees. These exercises are known to be gentle on the joints.
Seven to eight (7-8) weeks after surgery
At this stage, you can usually start incorporating light strength training exercises at least 2 days a week. You can either use free weights or just your bodyweight.
If strength training intimidates you, you can ask a professional to help, ideally someone who has experience working with bariatric patients.
Doing it safely
Always follow your bariatric team’s advice. You may feel the urge to ramp up the intensity and duration of your exercise once you start feeling better, but remember to take it slowly. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.
Listen to your body. If you start feeling a sharp pain or feeling like you’re sick, stop immediately. If these sensations don’t subside with rest, contact your doctor immediately.
Our team at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, TN will walk you through each stage of your surgery and recovery.
If you’re still contemplating embarking on your own bariatric surgery, watching our FREE info session will give you more details information about our Foothills Weight Loss Surgery program.
Questions? Reach out to our Foothills office at (865) 984-3413.
Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. Foothills is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.