How to Exercise Before Your Bariatric Procedure
We spend a lot of time talking about how to become fit and stay healthy after weight-loss surgery or other bariatric procedures, but the reality is that becoming as fit as you can before your procedure will help you immensely. It gives your surgeon a healthier body with which to work, and it gives you a head-start on figuring out how to stay fit for the rest of your life.
Which is not to say that it isn’t a challenge! Severely overweight and obese individuals often feel intimidated when they try to exercise; people can be cruel and make fun of others-even when the overweight person is actually trying to do something healthy such as work out.
And once you’re at the gym, your body might not fit well into the equipment available. Benches may be too narrow. Seats on cardio and weight machines can be too small. If you do something on the floor, you may experience difficulties breathing and even more difficulties getting back up again.
But being severely overweight doesn’t mean that you cannot in fact exercise; you just need to find the right activity for you. Exercise for obese people is just as important as it is for anyone else.
Swimming is one of the best ways to get exercise in the months and weeks leading up to your surgery, as water supports your weight, so your frame doesn’t need to.
Walking puts more pressure on your joints than does swimming, but it’s great exercise and gets you into the habit of movement. (Tip: use a pedometer for extra motivation!)
Strength training is also excellent. Start with a pair of very light hand-weights. Every muscle that you strengthen will help you be stronger before, during, and after your surgery.
Obviously, don’t start any kind of exercise routine without first discussing it with your doctor. But anything that you start now will have a better chance of carrying over so that the post-operative you will have a jump-start on your new healthy body!