Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery

Lifestyle factors are often mentioned as an important part of any weight loss journey. But how important is exercise in the surgical weight loss Journey? 

For most patients, the focus is often on the period following surgery. Ensuring lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity are working together to achieve the desired weight loss is the priority and can be a lot to manage. This is the primary reason Dr Kuzinkovas offers a comprehensive care plan for patients and ensures all patients have access to a specialist support team after the surgery.

Preparing for surgery – Diet

The most commonly discussed form of weight loss surgery preparation is diet. Generally speaking, a special diet will be prescribed to help prepare the body for surgery. The diet will be high in protein, low in carbohydrates and low in fat. Along with physical changes to the body, it also helps the individual adjust certain eating behaviours that may stand in the way of desired weight loss.

Preparing for surgery – Preoperative Exercise

A sometimes overlooked element is preoperative exercise. Considered a staple in other surgical specialties, preoperative exercise can have a positive effect on postoperative pain and may even shorten the recovery period. The general understanding is that even modest changes to physical activity improve the body’s ability to deal with the stress of surgery. 

For individuals undergoing weight loss surgery, introducing minor changes to physical activity can make a significant difference following surgery. The introduction of brisk walks and light weight training sets a foundation for a smoother, less stressful recovery process.

Recovery from surgery

During the first 3 months of recovery, low-impact and low-intensity exercise is recommended once deemed safe by your surgeon. Walking or swimming are considered the best exercises for the stage of recovery. Gradual increases in the intensity and time spent exercising are a good way to build endurance and improve cardiovascular fitness. An ideal target of 30 minutes of exercise each day is a great starting point. 

Providing a patient’s recovery is progressing as expected, the introduction of weight training may be included in the exercise program. Dr Kuzinkovas recommends a consistent exercise program prepared by an experienced personal trainer and exercise physiologists. This allows the patient to have a tailored exercise program with a balanced focus on strength and cardiovascular training. It will also ensure the exercise program is adjusted according to the progress of weight loss and improvement in fitness.

Weight training and weight loss surgery

Resistance training is known to positively affect body composition. It ensures that patients who are in a calorie deficit can maintain and build lean muscle mass. Improvements in lean muscle mass will help an individual maintain a steady rate of weight loss and a healthy metabolism.

Maintaining long-term weight loss following weight loss surgery

Exercise and physical activity are crucial parts of maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle following successful bariatric surgery. Exercise helps: 

  1. Prevent weight regain
  2. Improve overall health
  3. Increase energy levels
  4. Improve mood and mental health
  5. Strengthen bones and joints
  6. Improve quality of life

If you would like to know more about the role physical activity plays in weight loss surgery and how it can help you achieve your weight loss goals, speak to one of our friendly team and book an appointment with Dr Kuzinkovas today by contacting our clinic on 1300 551 533.

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