Walking for Exercise after Gastric Sleeve Surgery with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, Part One

A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Walking with Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Weight Management Program Bariatric Surgeon

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is a safe and effective choice for obese patients seeking weight loss. After surgery, you will incorporate dietary and lifestyle changes. Walking for exercise is one of the best ways to promote healthy and safe weight loss. In the first of three articles, Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding provides advice and tips on walking after gastric sleeve surgery.

Why Walk?

Walking for exercise after gastric sleeve surgery.Your surgeon will want you up and walking slowly soon after gastric sleeve surgery. At first you may not want to walk, but you will find yourself feeling better with the walking. After the recovery period, your doctor will recommend that you begin walking for exercise. The following are reasons why walking is so good for your body:

  • Weight Loss – Walking helps you lose weight after bariatric surgery. Combined with a healthy diet recommended by your doctor, walking is the perfect form of cardio.
  • Heart Health – Experts like Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding know that walking lowers risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Promotes Strength – Walking not only strengthens your legs, but also your rear end. Posture also improves with regular walking.
  • Improves Your Frame of Mind – Getting out in the fresh air makes just about everyone feel better. But even walking on a treadmill has the effect of improving your mood. Regular physical activity gives you a serious boost.

Variations on Walking Exercises from Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding

Since it’s what we do every day, some people think walking could become boring. Not at all the case! Regular walkers know that there are many variations you can do while exercising to keep things interesting. Here are a few suggestions to try after your doctor gives the green light on moderate exercise:

  • Walking Intervals – Alternate normal walking pace with fast walking in 30 second intervals. Intervals are moderately challenging but allow for recovery.
  • Weighted Walk – Using ankle weights and/or light handheld weights, walk for 30 minutes.
  • Hill Intervals – On a treadmill, raise the elevation to 2% for 1 minute intervals. Raise to 2% when you are comfortable and vary the minutes up and down.
  • Backward Walking – On an enclosed track, mix backward walking into your routine. Walking in reverse is known to ease pressure on the knees. Plus, it uses more energy so you burn more calories.
  • Short-Stride Walking – Use only very short steps, which will strengthen leg muscles. Walking with short strides allows you to walk faster too, which is good for overall cardio endurance.

Walking is an effective and enjoyable form of exercise after gastric sleeve surgery. Experts recommend starting off very slowly. Increase your distance only by 10% each day. These variations on walking exercises will keep things interesting. Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding recommends her patients start off slowly. Soon, the combination of diet and exercise will result in positive changes in your body.

If you would like to learn weight loss surgery, including gastric sleeve, consult an expert like Dr. Christine Ren-Fielding, NYU Weight Management Program bariatric surgeon. Visit the NYU Langone Weight Management Program for more information.

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