Fitness After Bariatric Surgery

According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 80% of American adults are not getting the recommended amount of exercise each week. The Department of Health and Human Services advises that adults should get about 150 minutes of moderate activity, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, each week. Besides a host of proven health benefits like better blood sugar control and improved cardiovascular strength, engaging in a regular fitness routine can also improve your weight loss and help you cement your resolve to meet your weight loss goals.

Possible Benefits of Exercise for Bariatric Surgery Patients

  • Improved weight loss
  • Lean body mass preservation
  • Better skin elasticity
  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Improved overall well-being, health, and emotional states
  • Bolstered immune system
  • Strengthened bones
  • Helps maintain and develop muscle tone
  • Improved joint stability
  • Enhanced mood

Whether or not you are currently a fan of exercising, patients are both encouraged and expected to begin or continue a fitness routine after bariatric surgery. Most patients discover they enjoy exercising, especially as they begin to experience the results of their hard work. Depending on your previous level of fitness and how well you recover after surgery, you will be given specific instructions on what types of activity you are approved to begin. Below are general guidelines for exercising after bariatric surgery.

30-90 Days After Surgery

The types of activity allowed and encouraged 30 days post surgery depends heavily on your fitness level before surgery. As a rule of thumb, patients are encouraged to stay within a fitness zone where speaking is still comfortable and they do not experience pain during movement. Some additional exercises include:

- Swimming

- Water aerobics

- Low-impact aerobics

During the rapid weight loss phase after bariatric surgery, patients may notice that their center of balance is off as their body adjusts to their changing size. Engaging in exercises that require balance and coordination may require you to hold on to something to maintain stability.

Six Months After Surgery

At six months post surgery most patients have healed enough to begin strength training. With your surgeon’s approval you can begin a light training routine and build up intensity over time.