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Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

Patients must commit to a lifestyle change for the rest of their lives. This not only includes following a healthy meal plan and controlling portions, but also exercising regularly. Depending on which type of surgery you choose, you may be able to start exercising soon after your procedure.

The Benefits

If you want to maximize your weight loss following a bariatric procedure, one of the best ways you can do so is by keeping up with an exercise routine. Studies have shown that patients see more benefits when they incorporate an exercise routine following bariatric surgery. Rapid weight loss, such is common with certain bariatric procedures like gastric bypass, can lead to muscle loss. Exercising during this period of rapid weight loss can help you burn fat but maintain that muscle mass and build more lean muscle.

Of course, regular exercise has a slew of other great benefits as well. It’s a great stress reliever and can help you practice self-care and improve your mental health. It also makes you feel good and accomplished, especially if you are working toward achieving specific fitness goals.

Getting Started

Are you unsure where to start? If you’ve never held a regular exercise routine, you may not know what you’re doing. While your bariatric surgeon and support team will help you come up with a weight-loss plan that will work best for you and your goals, it’s important to keep in mind that you will need to focus on building strength and improving cardiovascular fitness.


Getting your blood pumping during a great cardio session is the perfect way to energize you—mind and body. Be sure to take it slow though, especially after bariatric surgery. Running a 5k can come later on down the road. Start with leisurely walks and gradually increase your pace and distance. Once your bariatric surgeon approves of it, you can move to more intense cardio activities, like jogging, swimming, playing sports, cycling, or jumping rope. Also consider that some of the regular activities you do to keep up on the maintenance of your home, like housework and yardwork, can be classified as cardio.

Strength Training

As mentioned above, it’s important to maintain your muscle mass and continue to build lean muscle—especially during periods of rapid weight loss. You can do this by lifting weights, but you can also use your own body weight and do lunges, squats, and sit-ups. Your surgeon will help you figure out the best moves for you.

You’ll also want to increase your flexibility to reduce the risk of injury and limit the strain on your body. Do you have questions? Visit us.