The medical and psychological problems obesity has caused you will always be a driving force for you to do anything it takes to lose that excess weight. Bariatric surgeries have been proven to be useful in the treatment of obesity. To achieve the optimal result from bariatric surgery, exercise after the surgery must be sustained. This may be a bit difficult during the recovery phase of bariatric surgery that is marked with emotional, physical and psychological challenges.
Nevertheless, you must stay motivated throughout this period. If you have come this far, you cannot afford to relax. What are the things you need to do to stay motivated as regards your exercise after bariatric surgery? How can you keep the ball rolling?
Keep talking to your doctor
Your doctor is your best friend as regards your weight loss. The appropriate exercises are often suggested by your doctor based on his assessment of your physical status and cardiovascular health. Keeping in touch with your doctor after bariatric surgery will ensure that you can communicate your challenges and seek a prompt solution.
Go gradually; there is no need to rush
Commencement of exercise after healing from surgery may be demanding as the body is no longer used to this, due to an extended period of recovery. You should, therefore, start with regular walking around the home for say 10mins per day, then increase to 20mins per day, then 30 and 45min per day. This will allow your body to adapt to this gradual increase in physical activity without you getting exhausted after the exercise. You can then move to more demanding exercise such as jogging, swimming, etc.
Choose an exercise you enjoy
One of the ways of staying motivated on exercise after bariatric surgery is to choose an activity that you enjoy. However, this must be beneficial to your aim of losing weight. By selecting an activity you enjoy, doing it will be relaxing for you, and you will never get bored. If you like swimming, then do it and shed more weight, if you like yoga, do it and lose weight.
Use appropriate exercise kits and accessories
When you do an activity with the proper tools such as breathable clothing and a good pair of footwear, the experience will be comforting, and you will be able to sustain the exercise longer than with inappropriate kits. Having a well-calibrated pedometer to count your steps while walking will help you track how much you have done and whether you are making progress or not.
Do you know how to perform more than one sport? Then mix things together
You may lose interest in your post-bariatric surgery exercise if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. You can take a brisk walk today followed by swimming tomorrow and yoga the next day. The aim is to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health by burning calorie. A single exercise for a long time will make you reach a plateau early, and you stop losing weight, but with different varieties, you use different body parts and keep mobilizing excess fat in every part of the body for energy.
Set your goals and work on them
Your final aim of doing exercise is to lose weight. Set your daily, weekly and monthly goals. Your daily goals should be on how many meters of walk/jogging you want to achieve per day, how many minutes of swimming per day, how many calories you intend to burn per day. Your weekly and monthly goals should be on weight loss. How many kilograms of your body weight you expect to lose per week or month. These goals must be achievable, feasible, sustainable, and measurable. All these would serve as guides for you to monitor your progress and make adjustment where necessary.
Join the right group
Many bariatric surgery groups/forums are available. When you join, you will have the opportunity to share your own story and meet other people with similar goal and target with yours. A healthy competition with and success stories from these people will keep you motivated to sustain the exercise and to be hopeful of achieving your goal as well.
For example, when you hear the story of that 120kg man who had his bariatric surgery 12months earlier and has been compliant with his exercise schedule and now weighing 70kg, you will be motivated to engage in more exercise. When you further hear that he no longer use antihypertensive and anti-diabetic drugs, then you become more determined to achieve the same level of success.
In conclusion, getting motivated to exercise after bariatric surgery requires that you stay connected with your doctor, listen to other peoples’ success stories, set targets and continually evaluate yourself and finally do not give up.
“If you have gone this far, you cannot afford to fail, keep the ball rolling.”