If you want to get the most from your weight loss surgery then the tool itself is only going to do half the work. You are going to have to add consistent and challenging exercise into life. Whether you are someone that used to workout all the time but odd twists in life got you off track, or this is new to you focusing on these habits will give you a path to success.
Just like the path you took in making your decision on getting the weigh loss surgery, researching and understanding your new life is just as important. Getting the right information available regarding fitness and health goes a long way in making the steps that follow successful. A great time to put in this research is right after your surgery when exercise is limited. This step is more important if you have been out of the exercise routine for a long time.
Make a Plan…
The plan you make for yourself should be as detailed as it can be. With more detail comes a better mindset going into the workout. That is if you know exactly what you are going to do every time you go the the gym, you can set your mind to that workout, get it done and go on with your day. Without a detailed plan you’ll find yourself wondering around the gym doing a little of this and a little of that. The lack of a plan will set you up for lack of good healthy progress.
For exercise after bariatric surgery the plan should include some form of strength training along with cardio. Once you’ve been cleared to exercise plan to start conservatively. Start with 30 minutes a few times a week. Bump that time frame by 15 minutes after a few weeks. Your plan should have you up to 2+ hours a week strength training with in 6 weeks. Your plan should also have what exercises you are going to do, and when you are going to do them. Once you have this fitness plan, write it down and refer to it often. Now you just have to do the following…
… and Stick to the Plan!
Researching and writing out a smart fitness plan is absolutely essential if you want to get the most from the weight loss surgery. But knowledge is not powerful unless you act upon it. Put your plan into motion, and stick to it. If you have put the time in on getting good research and building a solid detailed plan sticking to it becomes much easier. Yet even with all the planning life can go sideways on you. And when that happens don’t let it totally derail you from your goals but just make adjustments to it and keep going. Sometimes that adjustment is a shorter workout or even substituting a walk in the place of the planned workout. It may not be what you planned but by doing something you have continued to build a bit more solid exercise habit. And remember…
The Turtle Will Always Beat the Hare
This really sort of just builds upon the previous fitness habit. Slow and steady wins the race, and all that. You did not get out of shape overnight. You will not get back in shape overnight, even if you just stuck with the weight loss from the tool it will take 12 months+ to get you close to your goal. Follow your plan, keep consistent, and when you practice these habits, you WILL see positive and impressive change. Finally…
Keep pictures of your past, present and hopefully future self(pictures of people that look and feel the way you want to).
Record repetitions and sets, steps and miles walked, biked or ran, calories burned and inches lost, heart rate and time spent on cardio, and study that data. Then consistently use this information to tweak your daily and weekly efforts in pursuit of your planned goals.
While these suggestions seem basic they really are the basis of being successful. Of course the more you dive into each and everyone of these ideas the more that will come from them. But if you don’t want to go that deep into these topics then you can get a lot from just doing the following:
- Decide which days your are going to workout
- Decide how long each workout will be
- Decide what you exercises you will do
- Put that all on a calendar and try to follow it as close as you can. When life throws you for a loop then do your best to keep with it.
- Write down as much as you can.
Subscribe To My Bariatric Journey Newsletter
Each month we take on a new topic around Exercise, Nutrition and Mindset and how it can help you on your weight loss journey. You will also get first notice of upcoming promotions.
Geof has been working with bariatric surgery clients for over a decade. His goal with Phoenix Fitness is to give you the tools to make your weight loss successful for the long term.