Alabama Bariatrics & Minimally Invasive Surgery

Bariatric Diet Orbera Gastric Band Sleeve Gastrectomy Gastric Bypass

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791

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Contact Us

W. Jay Suggs, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Huntsville & Decatur
Phone: (256) 274-4523
Fax: (256) 203-8791
EMail: drsuggs@alabariatrics.com

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Do's and Don't s When it Comes to Weight Loss Surgery Exercise and Recovery

exercise surgery-1Let's be honest, the idea of getting up and moving around, let alone trying to get up after going through weight loss surgery can sound daunting. Especially if you are still getting used to the habit of doing some sort of physical activity multiple times a week. But the good news is that typically,  the more you do, the more you can do. It is okay to feel a little apprehensive, but with enough support and determination, you can do anything you set your mind to! 

But, like everything else in life, coming up with a workout routine while recovering isn't easy. After all, you are still healing from a wound from a surgical site. So, that probably changes the rules of working out a little bit. So, let's look at the workout recommendations for post weight loss surgery patients.

Don't Immediately Run a Marathon the Day After Surgery

Some patients, possibly from a lack of patience or as a motivation from pure guilt for losing weight surgery, are eager to get started. And that eagerness is understandable. But, it is not a good idea to hit the ground running the minute you hop out of bed. Your body is still trying to get used to the idea of a part of your stomach either getting severely restricted or mostly removed altogether. Doing too much too fast, will end up causing too much physical damage not too long after weight loss surgery. Especially in places like load bearing joints. 

Also, there is the risk of muscle loss. When people lose weight too quickly, that is a sign that muscle, not fat, is deteriorating over time. Thats why you want to stick with low to moderate intensity exercises. Especially when you are just recovering. That being said...

Don't Neglect your Exercise Either

Regular physical activity can not only help keep the weight off. It can help with joint pain, it can boost your self confidence, improve skin elasticity, and improve your overall health. While the idea of starting a regular exercise regimen may sound daunting, especially if you haven't done it before, there is no need to fear. Because most weight loss surgery programs, including the one in Huntsville, Alabama, include consultations with trainers. Trainers that will help you in the first few steps of physical recovery.

Just take baby steps and rely on the support of your friends, family and medical staff if you think that you are feeling overwhelmed. There is no shame in asking for help, and admitting that you are feeling unmotivated sometimes.

Remember your Vitamin Supplements and to Stay Hydrated

It sounds a little odd to be mentioning it in a segment about exercise, but trust me when I say that it all has a part to play.

On average people get physically weaker when they do not get proper nutrition. The same can be said for dehydration. Just having weight loss surgery alone is enough to cause nutritional deficiency problems. And if there is a deficiency, there is a good chance that your muscles will not be able to function properly, and you will wind up way too tired to get out of bed and conduct a daily routine, let alone get exercise. 

It is also way too easy to dehydrate post surgery. Thanks to a smaller stomach size under weight loss surgery, it will be harder for your body to absorb the water it needs.  You need to keep water on hand during workouts and drink regularly.

If you keep yourself up to date on vitamins and water, you will have a much easier time with getting into an exercise routine.

Take Care of Your Skin

Skin, in general has a natural sense of elasticity. However, in cases of extreme amounts of weight loss after surgery, the skin does not have enough time to snap back to its original from. This leaves various folds, pockets, and other signs of sagging skin. While more times than not, skin removal surgery is required, you still have to deal with days of managing it.

Without proper skin care, especially before and after workouts your skin will likely form blisters due to friction. Thankfully, there are things like gels and supportive clothing that will reduce friction. Just make sure to pay attention to sensitive areas to prevent chafing. A little bit of self care goes a long way in preventing long term damage and sores.

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