Walking should be the first exercise for bariatric surgery patients and is a perfect first step (no pun intended) towards a robust exercise routine.
Begin your walking plan by setting an initial daily goal. Then increase the goal by 10% each day that you walk.
A great way to go about this is to count your steps using a pedometer. To set your baseline goal, clip on your pedometer and walk for 20 or 30 minutes throughout the day.
Spread your walks throughout the day so you don’t get too tired… three 10 minute walks, for example.
At the end of the day, take a look at your pedometer and write down the number of steps you took (use your free diet and exercise journal so you can track your progress over time). This will include both the steps taken during your planned walks and steps taken throughout your regular daily activities.
Next, multiply the total steps listed on your pedometer by 1.1 to determine your daily goal for the next day. Continue this process each day, making sure that your pedometer reads the new higher number (your ongoing new goals) at the end of each day.
After a few weeks, you’ll be well on your way to better shape and will be ready to take your endurance routine to the next level…
As the walking gets easier increase the difficulty of your daily steps. First, start taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible, or walk hills instead of flat ground if you have them in your area.
Next, consider moving on to marching (not jumping) on a mini trampoline. Mini trampolines provide great exercise for bariatric surgery patients for a few reasons: they give you a good indoor workout option when the weather won’t allow you to walk outside; they’re a better workout than walking on the ground; and they improve your balance and core strength… a perfect lead in to your endurance and strength exercises.
As you progress, you can continue to increase the difficulty of your endurance training by riding a stationary bike at home or in the gym.
For a cheaper and more convenient alternative, consider using a pedal exerciser. As you would expect, it won’t give you nearly the workout that a full-sized bike will give you and they are much less stable, but their convenience and much lower price tags make up for it – especially for beginners.
Pedal exercisers also allow you to work out anywhere you can find a seat, including (for the time-strapped) your desk while working.
Another effective and inexpensive (and fun!) exercise for bariatric surgery patients is a hoola hoop. In addition to improving your endurance, it’s an excellent way to strengthen your core, arm and leg strength. Exercise by swinging the hoola hoop around your waist, arms and legs.
The last but certainly not least recommended exercise for bariatric surgery patients is swimming, especially while you are still overweight or obese. It contributes to endurance, strength and flexibility with minimal impact on the joints and works virtually every part of your body.