Stay Healthy

Rediscovering Your Get-Up-And-Go

get up and go

Tips for starting and maintaining an active lifestyle after bariatric surgery

Along with appropriate dietary intake, exercise is a vital part of keeping extra weight off post bariatric surgery. Regular physical activity also helps reduce or resolve many of the health risks associated with obesity.

To stress this point and prepare you for a new, healthy life, The UHS Comprehensive Weight Management Program team begins teaching patients the importance of staying active long before surgery – typically three months prior, which allows ample time to build healthy activities into every day life.

Following surgery, you’ll initially be unable to exercise, but once your physician delivers the official okay, physical activity will again become an essential part of your lifestyle.

While some physical activity is considered better than none, the general recommendation is at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, with additional activity increasing the benefits.

For patients who aren’t into joining the Lycra-clad gym set, there are many ways to integrate exercise into your life. And as many patients report, these activities soon begin to feel more like play—even fulfilling longtime dreams.

Here are examples of physical activities, divided into moderate and vigorous intensity.

Moderate Intensity

  • Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking)
  • Water aerobics
  • Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Dancing (any form that keeps your feet moving and your heart pumping)
  • General gardening

Vigorous Intensity

  • Race walking, jogging, or running
  • Swimming laps
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster
  • Jumping rope
  • Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing, with heart rate increases)
  • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack