Your bariatric surgeon and treatment team will recommend you begin a fitness and exercise program following weight loss surgery. My best advice is that you be enthused about the prospect of getting active and pursue your health with real vigor! If you’re not sure where or how to start your fitness efforts then I strongly recommend you engage a personal trainer and experience what it means to be active.
Use a personal trainer because she possesses the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to design a safe and effective fitness program based on your level of health and fitness. She will instruct and assist you in reaching your personal goals. The best personal trainer is one who also will dig deep to remove your barriers and amplify your motivations for being active. This could very well be the foundation you need for an extended commitment to working out.
Make no mistake about it, you will face challenges in maintaining a fitness program over the long haul. This is another area where a personal trainer can help. If and when your commitment wanes, you simply can resume using a personal trainer until you are back into a good exercise habit.
Benefits of a Personal Trainer
The role of a personal trainer is to determine your fitness level, establish and set goals, create a personalized program for you, and motivate you along the way. To get fit you are going to need a lot of motivation.
Personal trainers help guide you toward your goals as well as educate you about cardio, strength training, and basic nutrition. They also hold you accountable for your performance.
Personal Trainer for Bariatric Patients
Should you choose to get a personal trainer, you will no doubt want one who is good at personal fitness training! Specific qualities should be sought as you select a personal trainer.
Choose a personal trainer who is certified through a reputable training organization. Continuing education beyond certification is a plus. The more education your personal trainer has, the better. Your personal trainer also should have a current certification in CPR.
Your personal trainer should have experience and training to address specific medical problems or injuries. Personal training for bariatric patients is more specialized in that the bariatric patient might very well have a history of medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, joint pain, and diabetes.
And your personal trainer should be a good listener.
Exercise after Bariatric Surgery
A point that needs to be emphasized and reemphasized is to first consult with your bariatric surgeon and primary care physician before beginning an exercise program. Such input from your healthcare providers is critical and should never be underestimated.
When it comes to actually working out with your personal trainer, it is crucial that you get the “OK” from your doctors. Most bariatric surgeons don’t approve activity other than walking until after 30-90 days post-bariatric surgery. After about 120 days post-op when the patient is mostly healed, exercise tends to need to be low-impact. Abdominals and lower back regions are not typically exercised until 6-months after surgery.
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Recommendations
Aerobic training is the exercise program that will burn the greatest amount of calories. The probable starting point for aerobic exercise will be low-impact efforts such as walking or working out on an elliptical.
Resistance training is accomplishing using free-weights, and flexibility training will help to improve range of motion. One of the best approaches for improving range of motion is stretching exercises.
The ACSM recommendations for frequency of exercise is five to seven days per week of aerobic exercise and two to three non-consecutive days per week of resistance training. You can build up to such a rigorous schedule over time if you so desire. But don’t expect to get this active right away when you have been sedentary most of your life. And even working out just three days per week reaps excellent health benefits.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) maintains that aerobic sessions can extend between 45 and 60 minutes. Resistance exercises are to be completed one step at a time. And range of motion stretching should be held for 15 to 20 seconds to meet the goal of flexibility.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life