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“When should I start my exercise routine after bariatric surgery?”

April 6, 2023

“When should I start my exercise routine after bariatric surgery?”

If you’ve recently undergone bariatric surgery and are looking to start an exercise routine, it’s important to wait until you’ve fully healed before beginning any physical activity. Your surgeon will likely provide specific instructions on when it’s safe to start exercising, but generally, patients can begin light activity, such as walking, 2-4 weeks after surgery.

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is an operation that is performed to help patients with morbid obesity lose weight. This surgery is done by reducing the size of the stomach and, in some cases, also by performing a gastric bypass. After surgery, patients must change their lifestyle and start a regular exercise regimen. Exercise is essential to maintain weight loss and improve overall health.

It’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise routine as your body adjusts.

Here are some tips for getting started with an exercise routine after bariatric surgery:

  1. Consult with your healthcare team: Before starting any exercise routine, it’s important to consult with your healthcare team to ensure that it’s safe for you to begin physical activity. Your surgeon and/or dietitian can provide specific recommendations and guidelines based on your individual needs and medical history.
  2. Start with low-impact exercises: In the early stages of your exercise routine, it’s best to start with low-impact exercises, such as walking, cycling, or swimming. These exercises are gentle on the joints and can help improve cardiovascular health and overall fitness.
  3. Gradually increase intensity and duration: As your body adjusts to physical activity, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, spread out over several days.
  4. Incorporate strength training: Strength training can help build muscle mass and increase metabolism, which can help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Incorporate strength training exercises, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, into your exercise routine at least 2-3 times per week.
  5. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after exercise. If you experience any pain or discomfort, adjust your routine accordingly. It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard too quickly.

Remember, the key to a successful exercise routine after bariatric surgery is to start slow, be patient, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your routine over time. With consistency and dedication, you can achieve your fitness goals and enjoy the many benefits of regular physical activity.


What are the benefits of exercise after bariatric surgery?

After bariatric surgery, exercise can help improve health and well-being. Some benefits of exercise after bariatric surgery include:

  • Helps to lose additional weight and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and improves heart health.
  • Improves mood and reduces stress.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Improves bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
  • Improves digestion and prevents constipation.
  • Increases lung capacity and improves respiratory function.
  • Increases flexibility and improves balance.”

When should I start my training?

After undergoing bariatric surgery, it’s important to start exercising regularly to help improve your overall health and wellbeing. But how soon after surgery should you start working out?

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), patients should “undergo a comprehensive pre-operative evaluation that includes a review of their current level of activity and participation in an exercise program.” The ASMBS also states that patients should be cleared by their surgeon before starting or resuming any type of exercise program.

So, what does this all mean? Basically, you should check with your surgeon before starting or resuming any type of exercise after bariatric surgery. Your surgeon will be able to give you specific instructions based on your individual case. In general, though, most patients are cleared to start light exercise within 2-4 weeks after surgery.

Of course, always listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard too soon. Start with gentle exercises like walking and gradually work your way up to more strenuous activities like running or lifting weights. And be sure to stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water is essential for both recovery and performance during exercise.

Safe and Recommended Training Routines After Bariatric Surgery

After weight-loss surgery, you will likely need to change your exercise routine. You may need to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.

It is important to choose safe and recommended exercises that will not put too much strain on your body. Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may need to avoid high-impact activities or exercises that require you to use your upper body too much.

Fuel Your Body: Essential Nutrients to Prevent Malnutrition After Weight Loss Surgery

Here are some safe and recommended exercises to start with after weight-loss surgery:

Walking: Walking is a great way to get started with exercising after weight-loss surgery. Start with short walks around your neighborhood or at a local park. Gradually increase the distance and speed as you become more comfortable.

Swimming: Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for people who have had weight-loss surgery. It is also a good way to get your heart rate up without putting too much strain on your body. Start with short swims and gradually increase the distance as you become more comfortable.

Cycling: Cycling is another great low-impact exercise that can be done indoors or outdoors. If you are just starting out, try using a stationary bike or an elliptical machine at the gym. Once you have built up some endurance, you can start cycling outdoors on trails or in your neighborhood.

These are just a few examples of safe and recommended exercises for people who have had weight-loss surgery. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best type of exercise routine for your individual needs.

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