As you begin to lose weight and see the results of your post bariatric surgery lifestyle changes, it becomes very tempting to accelerate your exercise program. However it is critical that you maintain moderation and work toward your exercise goals in a measured manner. The goal is to avoid injury. Years or even decades of a sedentary lifestyle cause weakness in bones, tendons and muscles. The result is that injury is far more likely – especially when you first start a new exercise regimen. Your back, shoulders, knees and feet are all prone to strain, which can sideline you for weeks.
Excess weight only enhances the negative impact on the body, which makes it even more important to start your exercise regimen slowly. Begin with low impact exercises to help avoid injury and stay on track in your fitness efforts. Swimming is one of the best exercises for a post-bariatric patient because it not only works most of the major muscle groups, but it is also minimally impactful on joints. This means that the likelihood of injuring yourself in the pool is significantly lower than, for example, running on hard surfaces.
Avoiding injury is an important part of post bariatric life – even a minor injury can keep you from exercise for up to six weeks or even more. Not being able to exercise for that time can make it difficult to stay on track with your weight loss goals and ultimately cause frustration. Further, additional stress on weak muscles, joints and tendons can cause even more damage and ultimately result in longer-term disability. Remember that bariatric surgery requires a lifestyle change – something that does not come overnight. So consult with your medical team to ensure that your regimen is ideal for your circumstance.