Exercise: A Necessary Adjunct to Lap Band Surgery
Lap band surgery is the first step to changing your life if you are obese and other methods of weight loss failed you. But this surgery is only the first of a number of lifestyle changes you must make for the program to succeed. Following the surgery, the most important lifestyle change you make will be to begin and keep up an exercise program.
Lap band surgery is different from gastric bypass surgery. It is less invasive and does not make permanent changes to your internal organs. However, with a proper post-surgical program of diet and exercise, you can expect a loss of 50 percent of your excess weight after two years. This compares favorably with other weight loss surgeries and, according to Stanford University, with ongoing adjustments to the lap band and continued better eating and exercise, there is the possibility of more weight loss.
Patients who expect a weight loss miracle from lap band bariatric surgery face disappointment. Even though you undergo the minimally invasive lap band procedure, the possibility remains that you can eat enough to maintain your pre-operative weight or put back the pounds you lose.
Exercise as a Way of Life
Exercise following weight loss surgery helps you in many ways, including furthering and maintaining loss of pounds and inches.
Once you decide to have a lap band procedure, start an exercise program that you will continue after surgery. It cannot be emphasized enough, exercise is crucial to maintaining weight loss long-term.
Starting an exercise program before surgery shortens convalescence time and cuts the likelihood of post-surgical complications. Simply starting a walking program can pay big dividends for you as you progress through your weight loss journey.
Exercise and Lap Band Surgery
Before beginning any exercise program, patients must discuss the program with their physician who may change or limit the regimen. Generic programs are not used on real patients, but are included here to tell patients about what to expect. Your doctor or exercise physiologist will tailor a program that meets your needs and takes into account any medical conditions you have.
Beginning six months before surgery and until surgery, exercise 20 to 30 minutes, three days a week. Recommended exercises include:
- Two 10 minute walks every day.
- Chair marching: while sitting in a chair, march in place for 20 minutes. This is a great exercise for people who suffer from back pain.
One Month to Six Months Following Lap Band Surgery
Exercise continuously for thirty minutes. These exercises increase your range of motion so you can do everyday things, such as tying your shoes. In addition, you need to build strength, since as you lose weight, you lose muscle. When you lose muscle, you lose strength. Exercises to consider:
- Resistance training with dumbbells, gym machines, or weight bands
Six Months to One Year After Surgery
At this point you have the stamina for 45 minutes of ongoing exercise at least four times each week. Exercise experts suggest that you vary your routine to keep your body challenged at each session. Recommended exercises that you may wish to consider at this time are:
- Kickboxing, yoga, aerobics, or dancing.
- Using dumbbells while sitting on a balance ball. This resistance training strengthens abdominal muscles.
Long-term Maintenance Starting One Year After Surgery
Your exercise program and lap band surgery should result in a significant weight loss. This is when many people feel they can stop exercising. They are wrong! IT is important to adopt the mindset that exercise is now part of your new way of life. It is not optional; it is a part of who you are.
At this point, lap band patients can follow the same exercise recommendations for the general population, which is 45 minutes of exercise, four to five times a week.
Undergoing lap band surgery is a life changing experience. One change is starting an exercise program that becomes a part of your everyday life. It protects and improves your weight loss, helps keep you in good physical form, and helps keep you in a positive frame of mind.