Activity after Gastric Band Surgery
It’s crucial that you add exercise to your life after you have gastric banding surgery. While the band itself will help restrict how much food you can eat, adding exercise will help you lose more weight and improve your overall health. Regular exercise can also help you prevent serious and potentially fatal health problems, including diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
How much should you exercise?
It’s recommended that you get 200 minutes of exercise per week. This can be accomplished by exercising for 30 minutes every day, or working out for an hour at a time every other day.
What kind of exercise should you do?
Cardio, or aerobic, exercise, will be the most important type of activity for you to focus on. In addition to helping you lose weight, cardio activity will also help strengthen your heart and lungs. In general, anything that gets your heart pumping and makes you breathe more quickly and deeply is considered aerobic exercise. Try to focus on activities that use most of the major muscle groups in your body. This might include walking, jogging, swimming, biking, or playing a sport.
In addition to cardio exercise, you may also want to do strength training and stretching. Strength training with weights or resistance bands will help you build lean muscle mass, which will help you lose weight and look more toned, and stretching will make it easier for you to move more comfortable during daily activities.
Easing into exercise.
Starting a fitness program can be intimidating, especially if you’re overweight and haven’t exercised in a long time. You may be worried about your physical limitations or feel uncomfortable at first. Understand that the gastric band itself will not limit your physical activity in any way. The band and access port are secure and cannot be damaged by moving improperly or bumping it.
If you’re concerned about your physical limitations, walking can be a great way to introduce exercise into your life. Simply walk as quickly as you can for as long as you can. In time, you’ll find that walking becomes easier and you’ll build up stamina. Try to work up to being able to walk at a brisk pace for an hour. Additional types of exercise will become easier as you lose more weight, but you’ll receive plenty of health benefits in the mean time from walking.
Physical limitations to exercise.
In some cases, you may have health problems, such as osteoarthritis, that make weight-bearing activity difficult. If you have joint, back, or feet problems, you should focus on non-weight-bearing exercises like swimming or water aerobics.
If you’re not used to regular exercise, it can be challenging to add this new habit to your life. Here are some tips that can help:
- Try a variety of different activities. This can help keep exercise fun and prevent you from getting bored with your workout plan.
- Focus on the activities you actually enjoy. If you don’t like a particular type of exercise, you’re more likely to skip (and eventually stop) your workouts.
- Work out with other people. Enlist the help of a “diet buddy” or focus on family activities that require physical movement, such as playing outside or going for a family bike ride.