Starting Your New Life with Exercise

Starting Your New Life with Exercise

So you’re considering having a bariatric procedure: congratulations! It’s a big decision, and you’ve already taken the first step toward your new life.

As your bariatric consultant has told you, the procedure alone isn’t going to change your life: you have to do your part. Making serious and permanent lifestyle changes is what will keep the weight off—and keep you healthy.

One of those changes is around exercise. Chances are that’s not what you want to hear: most seriously overweight and obese people get tired going up a flight of stairs, never mind spending an hour at the gym! But the reality is that exercise is going to be your best friend and best ally in attaining the healthier “you” that you’ve been dreaming of.

And it’s not too soon to start now, even before your bariatric surgery or other bariatric procedure. This is the time to start the habits that are going to keep you at a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

While most exercise enthusiasts will tell you that cardiovascular exercise—when you get your heart-rate up and keep it up for a certain period of time—is the best for weight loss, you may want to consider starting somewhere else. It may seem counterintuitive, but strength training may be the right place for you to start.

Think of it this way: you’ve already been doing strength training! It takes a lot of work to move your excess weight around, and you’ve been doing that for years. So you’re no stranger to weight training.

The best way to begin is with a session or two with a personal trainer at a gym, and to stick to weight machines at the beginning. You’re far less likely to injure yourself with the machines than you are with free weights, and they’ll help you chart your progress. Your personal trainer will help you devise an exercise routine that will work for you. After your bariatric procedure, make a few more appointments with your trainer, who can guide you through a programme that will continue to strengthen and challenge you even as the weight comes off.

Starting to exercise will signal to those around you and to yourself that you are serious about the changes that your new life is going to ask of you. And even though it may not seem this way to you now, exercise will enable you to feel stronger, more energetic, and better than ever before.

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