Exercise After Bariatric Surgery — Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Langone Medical Center

Exercise is a Critical Component of Good Health After Bariatric Surgery

In addition to following your new diet after bariatric surgery, it is important to exercise regularly.  Patients who exercise at least 2.5 hours a week lose more than 5% more weight in the first six months after surgery.  In predictive studies, willingness to exercise is an indicator of weight loss, too. So, why not start out on the right foot after your surgery? Weight loss experts like Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Langone Medical center, can help guide you. Below are some general suggestions for exercise after bariatric surgery, but you should always listen to your own doctor.

When to Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

Generally, your medical team will suggest you begin exercising 3-6 weeks after surgery.  You should listen to your doctor’s specific instructions to ensure a full recovery.

Types of Exercise

You will begin with gentle exercise after bariatric surgery.You will begin with low impact exercise after bariatric surgery.  Staying active will help increase your overall fitness and potentially increase your metabolism.  Most patients begin with walking, measuring their steps with a pedometer. As you grow stronger, you can check with your doctor about increasing your physical activity to include:

  • Endurance exercises.  Walking is the first endurance exercise you will do.  As you get stronger, you can walk longer distances each day. When your doctor says it’s safe, you can use a stationary bike, swim, and try more intense endurance exercises.
  • Flexibility exercises.  At first, you will be allowed to do basic stretches.  Stretching is generally good for increasing your flexibility and warding off muscle soreness.  Eventually, you can consider joining a beginning yoga class for more advanced stretches.
  • Strength exercises. As you become more fit and flexible, your doctor may recommend you do strength exercises.  These can help prevent injury and chronic pain as you exercise more.  You will likely begin working with an exercise ball. As you get stronger, you can also lift weights!

Exercise after bariatric surgery doesn’t have to mean a day at the gym either. There are plenty of alternative forms of exercise you can try.  You can always ask your doctor for guidance, too.  

Begin Your Weight Loss Journey with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Langone Medical Center

Are you struggling with obesity and ready to take the first steps toward greater health?  Please contact Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Weight Management Program for an evaluation.

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