After Bariatric Surgery, Make Exercise Feel Less Like Exercise
Some people just don’t like exercise—or at least, they think they don’t. If you find yourself consistently dreading your workouts or wishing for them to be over, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to keep up your commitment to physical activity. However, research shows us that most people actually enjoy exercise much more than they expect to, if only they give it a proper chance.
Regardless of how beneficial exercise will be after bariatric surgery, it’s tough to force ourselves to do things we simply don’t want to do. You can help yourself get the exercise you need after gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band surgery by finding ways to boost your enthusiasm and make working out feel less like working hard.
Help exercise fly by faster after bariatric surgery by:
- Forgetting about the clock. Letting time dictate your workouts can make every second creep by slowly. Instead, plan out your routine in advance and give yourself as much time as you need to get through it. This can help you keep yourself focused on each activity and get a better workout in the process. Don’t plan to just spend 30 minutes on the treadmill—plan to walk a short distance, then move on to another activity like strength training, cycling or yoga.
- Getting into a group. Exercising with others is a surefire way to enjoy exercise more. Get an exercise buddy, join a class or gather your buddies for a pick-up game of your favorite sport. When exercise becomes a chance to socialize, you may find yourself forgetting all about the hard work you’re doing.
- Engaging your mind. Your workouts can be an opportunity to explore more than just the best ways to burn calories. Try using your workout sessions to listen to news radio, new music, audiobooks or educational podcasts. This can help you focus your mind as you challenge your body—just be sure that it doesn’t distract you too much from the important task at hand.
- Saving the hard stuff for the middle. If you dread one particularly challenging activity, planning to do it at the beginning of your workout can set you up for motivational misery. Saving it for the end, however, may mean that you make excuses to avoid it. Try to do the things you find especially difficult in the middle of your workout—this way, you can help yourself stay motivated by doing activities you enjoy most at the beginning and end.
If exercise is a dreaded daily chore, it may be time to rethink the way you approach your routine. There are many ways to make exercise feel less tedious, and this will make your progress after bariatric surgery much easier.