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Enhance Weight Loss with Regular Exercise after Bariatric Surgery

Female jogger's legsExercise after bariatric surgery is often the most difficult routine to establish. In Tijuana, Mexico, the team at the Tijuana Bariatric Center can outline a number of instructions and tips that will help you incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle, maintaining and maximizing your results.

Why Exercise is Important

For many patients, exercise is the easiest part of your post-bariatric lifestyle to let slide. Unlike your diet, there are no immediate repercussions, such as intestinal discomfort or nausea, if you decide to cheat for a day. However, many studies have shown that bariatric patients who exercise regularly lose more weight. In the first year after surgery, the average patient loses about 61 percent of their original weight. Among patients who exercise routinely, this number increases to 67 percent. In fact, regular exercise is often a more accurate indicator of long-term success than any other factor.

It is important to understand that the physical effort of exercise alone is not enough to burn off fat. While a patient can burn 200 calories in an hour of exercise, they can consume up to 1,000 calories by the end of the day. If losing weight were simply about shaving off calories, exercise would be a fairly minor tool.

Instead, regular exercise boosts your metabolism. The more often you burn calories at a higher rate, the more likely your body will increase its metabolism to keep up. Patients who exercise regularly begin to burn calories faster and consequently, lose more weight. This helps to combat the body’s natural tendency to slow metabolism in the wake of massive weight loss. The human body is designed to hoard fatty tissue as a source of energy in case of starvation. But this useful survival tool can undermine weight loss.

Tips for Improved Fitness

It can be daunting to commit to regular exercise, especially if you are used to a sedentary life style. The doctors and nutritionist working alongside the Tijuana Bariatric Center can advise you on how to transition from gentle exercises to more intense routines as you recover from surgery. The most important component of exercise is consistently: patients should aim to workout for at least 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week.

What kind of exercise you do does not matter - just the routine. Patients should take their time finding the workout that works best for their particular lifestyle.

In many cases, regular exercise can involve overcoming mental obstacles as well as physical hindrances. Patients should keep two pointers in mind.

Regularity is More Important than Type of Exercise

There are many articles and studies that attempt to pinpoint the best type of exercise to encourage weight loss. But the reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people run, while others prefer to rock climb or dance. Many post-bariatric patients prefer long walks. Although your workouts should include elements of endurance, flexibility, and strength, what kind of exercise you do does not matter - just the routine. Patients should take their time finding the exercise routine that works best for them. After all, it is your time and you should spend it doing something you enjoy.

Fit Looks Different for Everyone

Thin does not equal fit. Thin does not even always mean healthy. Olympic athletes are among the most physically fit individuals in the world and their body types range from skinny to large and muscular. For the average bariatric patient who is looking to improve their health rather than reach peak physical condition, a thin-first mindset can be damaging. By setting a more realistic goal of “being healthy” rather than "being thin," exercise can take on a more holistic role, which in turn, leads to a healthier mindset and improved results.

Safety Considerations

Exercise can be more harmful than helpful if it is performed incorrectly. Regardless of your routine, be sure to wear good shoes or other supportive equipment, warm up before and cool down afterward, and drink lots of water. As you lose more weight, you may need to wear more supportive clothing and apply gels to reduce friction and prevent skin problems. Additionally, patients should also try to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, for sore muscles since these medications can have negative effects on the altered digestive system.

Contact Us Today

Adjusting to a new exercise routine can be overwhelming and stressful. Reach out to the doctors working through the Tijuana Bariatric Center to learn more about tips and suggestions for establishing a fitness routine that fits your needs. 

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