Exercise: The Key to a New You!
So you’ve had your bariatric surgery or other weight-loss procedure. Congratulations! Your surgeon has probably asked you to wait a certain number of weeks before starting to exercise. But don’t let that fool you: the key to becoming a healthy person is regular exercise. It will help keep your old weight off, and-perhaps paradoxically-you’ll find that expending energy in exercise will end up making you feel more energetic than ever!
Here are five keys that will keep your exercise routine from becoming anything but routine, and will help create and maintain the post-surgery new you!
1. What do you like doing? You may not know the answer to this question yet, as it’s probably been a long time since you exercised regularly. But take some time now to explore a number of different kinds of exercise: walking, cycling, swimming, using an elliptical machine. Find out what you like-and, just as importantly, what you don’t like. If you really aren’t happy on a bicycle, then scheduling yourself to ride one three days a week is asking for a broken commitment. Find something you enjoy instead!
2. Set both short-term and long-term goals. Have you always wanted to run in a marathon, but thought your obesity would keep you from it? That’s a fine goal, but not for the first few post-operative months! Set smaller goals that you can accomplish weekly and monthly instead. Decide to run for half an hour, and increase it slowly. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself-or get discouraged!
3. Stay motivated! Talking of getting discouraged-it’s easy to do. Stay motivated by keeping photographs of yourself pre-surgery around. Now find a photo of the kind of body you hope to achieve. Consult them regularly for motivation. Also consider short-term rewards for regular exercise. Since you’re losing weight, new clothing might work quite well!
4. Take your time. This means two things: don’t rush your exercise routine (see the notes about running a marathon, above), and also create time in your schedule for exercise. It’s very easy to tell yourself that you just don’t have time for it today, you’ll do it tomorrow … and chances are that “tomorrow” never comes. This is your commitment to your life and to your health. Schedule it in as strictly as you would a business meeting!
5. Exercise when you’re not “exercising.” Remember that incorporating more exercise in every daily routine is going to help build your strength and endurance. Don’t look for the closest parking places: park your car in such a way that you’ll need to walk to your destination. Take the stairs whenever possible rather than using the lift. Perhaps you can do a few crunches while watching television. Arrange to meet friends for walks rather than for tea.
You’re changing your life, and it’s not going to be easy by any means. But just following these simple steps will help you become more mindful of what you need to do to take care of the new you!