Patients who undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss are instructed to exercise daily as part of their lifestyle changes for weight loss and improved health. A walking program is a great way to accomplish daily exercise and may be started as soon after surgery as the doctor will allow. This 12-week program gets patients moving, one step at a time, to better health and happier living.
Week 1: Take two 5-minute walks every day. Week one begins as soon as you are released from the hospital. Because of your recent major surgery and your past sedentary habits you may have poor endurance. By starting with 5-minute walks you will not become exhausted or discouraged, you will begin to build strength.
7 Days Weight Loss
Week 2: Take two 7-minute walks every day. Go at your own pace. If at the end of 7 minutes you feel like walking further continue, but no more than 10-minute intervals. You are getting stronger, congratulations!
Week 3: Take two 10-minute walks every day. Your abdomen will be healing now, concentrate on your posture. Good posture allows muscles to be used more efficiently. Enjoy the scenery and your improving health during your 10-minute walks.
Week 4: Take two 15-minute walks every day at your own pace. Congratulations! You are meeting the goal of 30 minutes of exercise each day. Doesn't it feel great?
Weeks 5-8: Gradually shift from two daily 15-minute walks to one walking session of 30 minutes each day! Make sure as you transition from two short walks to one long walk that your total walking time for the day equals 30 minutes. For example, one 20 minute walk and one ten minute walk. Walk proudly, swing those arms and applaud yourself! You are doing an excellent thing for your physical and mental health.
Weeks 9-12: By now you have healed from your surgery, you are experiencing great success with your weight loss. It is time to pick up the pace and cover more distance in your 30 minutes of daily walking. Try each day to walk just a little bit further. Step proudly and get moving - you are going to love how good you feel!
Still not convinced walking is for you? Have some excuses you are using to deny your body and mind the pleasure of physical motion? Read on!
Not enough time to walk? I don't think so! Not when in the beginning you only need to walk 10 minutes a day - and by week twelve you are spending one-half hour a day walking! That's a half-hour sitcom, surely you can squeeze that amount of time into your day to make your life healthier and more meaningful. One walking group claims time is all we have and walking for exercise will probably extend your time on earth! Bottom line: You don't have time not to walk! Afraid you might injure yourself walking? Probably not. Walking is about the safest form of exercise around - in fact, walking injuries are slight such as blisters, mild cramping, or sore knees and joints. If you follow the program above and build up your endurance and strength you are at slim risk for injury. A cautionary word, pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles. Outdoor fitness walkers can avoid this fate by using walking trails or sidewalks. Walk facing traffic, wearing light colors and reflective clothing and double-check both ways before crossing streets. Too embarrassed by your size to be seen "exercising" in public? Admittedly, this is my personal favorite excuse, and I don't think I'm alone. I'm lucky enough to have a treadmill in the basement, and even at a healthy weight, I prefer the privacy of my home to walk for fitness. If you don't have a treadmill another option is a walking fitness video that will have you marching about in front of the TV building cardiovascular supremacy in the privacy of your own world. Try Leslie Sansone's "Walk Away the Pounds" video.
Exercise may be the most difficult change to incorporate into your lifestyle after weight loss surgery. Unlike the food restrictions necessary to affect weight loss, exercise does not come with surgically achieved tool to help you. Exercise is entirely up to you. Times have changed. Consistent moderate exercise has replaced the no-pain, no-gain torture of decades past. Exercise and fitness has become more pleasurable and less injurious. Daily exercise improves our physical appearance, our health and our overall sense of well being. We must not cheat ourselves the innumerable positive benefits exercise brings to living. Start slowly, set reasonable goals. Reach and surpass those goals. Your life now, after weight loss surgery, is about health and wellness. This can only be achieved with a commitment to physical movement.Get Moving After Weight Loss Surgery With a 12-Week Walking Program