Stage 1: Pre-surgery exercise
During the period before your weight loss surgery, your journey will focus on getting you ready for surgery. You’ll work with our registered dietitians to develop new eating habits that you’ll use before and after your procedure. You will be coached on how to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine that is specific to your needs and challenges. Studies have shown that patients who exercise prior to surgery may experience a boost in metabolism and have shorter recovery times. Some insurance companies require patients to participate in an exercise program, and if you fall into this category, New Jersey Bariatric Center® can provide referrals to local trainers and physical therapists who can help you make sure your exercise routine is safe and effective.
Stage 2: Post-operative exercise: First Month
The first month after surgery is like the honeymoon phase. You’ll be getting used to your new stomach and putting into action all the lessons you learned during your pre-op consultations. Weight typically comes off very easy in these first few months and you may think you don’t have to exercise at all. But the truth is that exercise is the second biggest predictor of long-term success in post-op bariatric patients – second only to dietary changes. Now is when you will start an exercise routine that we’ll want you to continue with and build upon throughout your journey. New Jersey Bariatric Center® patients start with simple walking – up to 30 minutes four times a week. We’ll remind you to make every little bit count with tips to bring movement into your everyday life, such as taking the stairs instead of elevators or parking in the spot farthest from the store entrance. We’ll continue to coach you as you ease into exercise and learn to make movement a bigger part of your everyday life.
Stage 3: Post-operative Exercise: Month 2 and Beyond
By the third month post-op, many patients have lost up to 30% of their excess weight and are feeling great. Mobility improves and patients report being able to breathe easier and having newfound energy. Now is the time you should put all that extra energy into your exercise routine. If walking has been your main source of exercise for the past three months, increase the intensity of your workout by speed walking or adding 10 more minutes to your walk daily. Join a gym, take a class such as zumba or yoga or try a new sport. The best exercise is one that you enjoy and will stick with. Setting a goal that you can work toward is a great motivational tool. We’ve seen patients start training to do 5K runs, take classes to become yoga instructors and even plan trips to hike the Grand Canyon! The possibilities are limitless.
For more ways to incorporate exercise into your routine after bariatric surgery, read Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery.