Exercise and Bariatric Surgery: How to Stay Active Post-Op

1. Consult Your Healthcare Team
Before starting any exercise regimen, consult your surgeon and healthcare team to ensure it’s
safe and appropriate for your specific situation.

2. Start Slowly
In the initial weeks after surgery, your body is healing, and it’s essential to start with gentle
Weeks 1-4:
○ Focus on light activities like short walks.
○ Aim for 5-10 minutes of walking several times a day.
○ Avoid lifting heavy objects and any strenuous activities.

3. Gradually Increase Activity Level
As you recover, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise.
Weeks 4-8:
○ Increase walking duration to 20-30 minutes daily.
○ Incorporate light stretching and flexibility exercises.
○ Start gentle resistance exercises with light weights or resistance bands.

4. Incorporate Different Types of Exercise
A balanced exercise routine should include various types of activities:
Cardiovascular Exercise:
○ Walking, cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical machine.
○ Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week.
Strength Training:
○ Use light weights, resistance bands, or body-weight exercises.
○ Focus on major muscle groups: legs, back, chest, shoulders, and arms.
○ Perform strength training exercises 2-3 times a week.
Flexibility and Balance:
○ Incorporate stretching exercises, yoga, or Pilates.
○ These help improve flexibility, balance, and reduce the risk of injury.

5. Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to how your body feels during and after exercise. If you experience pain,
dizziness, or excessive fatigue, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Appropriately
● Stay hydrated, especially during exercise.
● Follow your dietary guidelines to ensure you have enough energy for physical activity.

7. Set Realistic Goals
Set achievable short-term and long-term goals to stay motivated. Celebrate small victories along
the way.

8. Find Activities You Enjoy
Engage in activities that you find enjoyable to make exercise a fun part of your routine. This can
include dancing, hiking, playing sports, or group fitness classes.

9. Build a Support System
Exercise with friends, family, or join a support group. Having a support system can help you stay
motivated and accountable.

10. Monitor Your Progress
Keep track of your activity levels, weight loss, and how you feel. This can help you stay
motivated and make adjustments as needed.

11. Be Patient and Consistent
Consistency is key to long-term success. Be patient with your progress and stay committed to
your exercise routine.
Example Exercise Routine Post-Bariatric Surgery
Weeks 1-4:
Walking: 5-10 minutes, 3-4 times daily
Light Stretching: 5 minutes, daily
Weeks 4-8:
Walking: 20-30 minutes, daily
Light Strength Training: 15-20 minutes, 2-3 times a week
Stretching/Flexibility Exercises: 10-15 minutes, daily
Months 2-6:
Cardio (Walking/Cycling/Swimming): 30 minutes, 5 times a week
Strength Training: 30 minutes, 2-3 times a week
Flexibility/Balance Exercises: 15 minutes, daily

Staying active post-bariatric surgery is essential for maximizing weight loss, improving fitness,
and enhancing overall health. By starting slowly, gradually increasing activity levels, and
incorporating a variety of exercises, you can create a sustainable and enjoyable fitness routine.
Remember to consult your healthcare team, listen to your body, and stay consistent with your

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