Strategies to Add Activity and Burn Calories after Bariatric Surgery
Each year, several hundred thousand Americans undergo weight loss surgery to lose excess weight. Although these surgeries alone allow patients to lose large amounts of weight, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine increases the speed of weight loss and improves overall health. When carrying around excess body weight, it can be tough to get to the gym or perform other high-intensity cardiovascular activities. However, making simple changes to your daily routine can have a transformative effect on your body and health.
Judging the Intensity of Physical Activity
According to fitness experts, it’s optimal to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five times per week. Moderate-intensity exercise doesn’t mean you need to start jogging or heavy bodybuilding. Rather, it’s important to judge physical intensity by its effect on your heart. Any activity that gets your heart beating faster, causes your breath to quicken, and makes it more challenging to carry on a back-and-forth conversation counts as moderate intensity. If 30 minutes per day seems daunting, begin with just 5 or 10 minutes and gradually build your endurance.
Taking the Steps
One of the easiest ways for bariatric surgery patients to incorporate more physical activity into their lives is to switch from taking the elevator to walking up the stairs. Similarly, parking farther away from your office or the store is a smart way to incorporate more activity into your everyday routine.
Physical activity doesn’t have to be dull, and doing something you love makes it less of a chore. Dancing is a great way to burn calories while learning new ways to move your body. Consider taking ballroom dance lessons to improve your moves. Alternatively, simply put on your favorite tunes and dance around the kitchen for 10 minutes
Get a Push Mower
When it comes to doing chores, we often choose little things that make life easier. Riding lawn mowers, Swiffers, and dog walking services may make things simpler in the short run, but you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to improve your health. Rather than paying for a dog walker or asking a family member to do the chore, begin taking your pet for a walk around the block. Or offer to mow the lawn with a push mower to bump up your heart rate and break a sweat.
Take a Hike
Even urban dwellers have nearby city parks in which you can take a stroll. If you’re not up for a long hike, begin by walking a short loop in your neighborhood, perhaps two or three blocks. Gradually build your endurance until you can walk for 30 minutes with ease.
Before bariatric surgery, the idea of exercise may seem daunting or even unpleasant. But you will be surprised how quickly things change after your surgery and your energy levels increase. After a little while you will be looking for ways to use up this extra energy. So be prepared with a list of fun, healthy activities that you can engage in to give your weight loss a boost.