Why is Exercise Needed?
Pre surgery exercise needsIn New Zealand if you are getting your weight loss surgery done then you have to reach certain targets of weight lost and keep it off. You are encouraged to start exercising before the surgery for a number of reasons.
Reasons for exercise pre-op
- To get healthier, meaning less risk during the operation
- To improve core strength which keeps you stable and upright
- To lessen the amount of abdominal fat making it easier to do the operation
- To heighten the chance of you continuing to exercise post-op as it is already a habit.
Difficulties in exercising pre-op
- Inability to move freely because of physical size
- Very sore joints in your lower body that limit how much you can do
- Comorbidities that make exercise difficult
- Depression that makes it hard to motivate getting up and out to do the exercise
- Finding clothes to exercise in
- Finding an exercise to do that won't cause further physical problems
Exercises that can help pre-op
- Walking: start with a small amount of time, 30 minutes a day can be divided into 3x10 minutes if that is your limit. Wear comfortable loose clothing and supportive shoes. The shoes don't have to be expensive as long as they support well. This can be done outside or on a treadmill inside. Speed can increase as you find it easier to do and you can include inclines to add extra effort. I used this as a way to learn what my local area was like. It was lovely.
- Swimming: this supports the majority of your weight and has the added benefit of the resistance of the water to push through. It includes water exercises for range of movement, water walking and aqua jogging etc. You do find that when you get out of the pool you feel heavy for a while. I liked to walk and swim laps as I felt longer and looser afterwards. I could lose 20 kgs each summer. It is hard to see bodies through water so you don't have to be self conscious. Check with the Pool if you can swim in something other than a swim suit if you are currently unable to find one in your size. Some pools open earlier or stay open later for certain groups. Ask them about it.
- Cycling: using a recumbent cycle is easier on the body than the ordinary cycle. The seat is larger making it easier to sit on and you extend your legs forward instead of up and down. This means you are likely to cycle for longer and get better results from it.
Things to keep in mind
- Personal safety. Forget those headphones as you can't hear what is happening around you. Be aware of people, animals, cars and other moving objects. Stay in the now when you are outside. Enjoy the weather, the trees, the flowers, saying hi to fellow walkers, the clouds in the sky, the feathers you find and anything else you enjoy looking at. I have harvested crabapples (for jelly) and picked up litter to make the area I live in a better place. Carry a personal alarm, safety feature in you hand (keys) or a phone to call for help if you are worried at all.
- The downers. Those slobs that go past in their grotty car and call out derogatory remarks. They have no right to and it can cause further depression if you take it onboard. I usually catch up to them at the next lights. "I may be fat but you are ugly and I can diet" is a phrase I use to good effect. Gestures can get you into trouble with some idiots so be careful with those. Be proud. You are actively working on reducing your size, they are not. Kudos to you. Idiot Award to them.
- Don't push too hard. If you do too much your body will let you know. It makes it harder to get out there the next day and do something to get closer to your goal. Do use enough energy to help lose that weight and/or get fitter.
- Write down what you have done. There are many food/exercise diaries out there now. Even a school notebook that you rule up is useful. It shows you what form of exercise, how much, time taken, amount of repetitions, weights used or anything else you want to note. It helps you to decide when you have to up the intensity or even add new forms of exercise.
- Decide on your goals you want to reach. When those goals are reached, celebrate. Set your next set of goals. Onward and upwards (or in our case, downward in weight)
Post Surgery exercise needs
Importantly at the start of your WLS exercise regime be guided by your doctor on when to start exercising, how much and what form of exercise as you don't want any problems with the operation site.
Reasons for post-op exercise
- Those who exercise regularly helps you lose more weight (can be 4.2% lower BMI)
- 2.5 hrs of moderately intense exercise means more actual weight loss compared to those who haven't done the same.
- It can give you more than 5% extra weight loss in 6/12 months
- Sticking to an exercise program usually means you are sticking to the diet as well. You are making your new body a priority.
- I find it helps to define muscles more and some of the skin will appear to be less (always good)
- Exercise has been proven to improve the mood.
- Exercise can help your mobility improve.
- Your metabolic rate stays higher than it would have. Your body thinks you are starving so it lowers the metabolic rate to conserve your body reserves. This makes it difficult for you to lose weight.
|February 2016 _slight weight gain back to 103 from 99 kgs|
Physical results in your body due to exercise
- Longer life span
- Less abdominal fat which leads to less risk of heart disease
- Lower blood pressure so less heart/stroke risk
- Triglycerides improve; less bad cholesterol, more good cholesterol
- Better insulin control/improved or no diabetes
- Lower risk of cancers in its many forms
- Improved balance so less risk of injury (very good if you are older)
- Muscles,bones,heart and lungs are stronger so you are fitter
- More bounce (vitality) in your step
Mental results due to exercise
- Improvement in mood. I think if doctors prescribed 90 minutes of good frequent exercise to their patients that the need for antidepressants would drop
- Improved appearance as you become taut, trim and terrific
- Mental acuity improves so it is easier to complete that crossword etc
- For the guys and gals; improved libido (yay, a sex life again, hehe)
- I get through my housework faster after I have been to the gym
Things to think of
- Start slowly and work up carefully. You are relearning your body in a new way
- Wear supportive clothing so you don't create problems
- Drink plenty of water while exercising
- Wear good supportive footwear. It doesn't have to be expensive it just needs to hold your foot in a good position, inserts may help here.
- Warm up and cool down with exercise. A cold muscle may tear more easily. I briskly walk to my gym then do the recumbent bike as my first exercise. A brisk walk home is my cool down.
- When aerobically exercising your heart rate needs to be between 50-85% of the Maximum for your age - this is easily found on the Net.
- If it is painful, stop! No, that doesn't mean the ache at the end of your rep, it means pain.
So what forms of exercise are good for post-op WLS people
|And you can take time out together|
|Big and flexible -high aims|
|Oh, to be so flexible|
|Leg exercises in water|