Cardiovascular Exercises for the Bariatric Patient - My Bariatric Life

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • It will no doubt be recommended by your gastric bypass surgeon or some other member of your bariatric treatment team that you incorporate a program of exercise into your aftercare regiment. Actually, it is probable that same program of exercise will be recommended prior to you getting weight loss surgery. Before beginning any regiment of exercise, speak with your doctor and your nutritionist to determine how to best proceed.

    Having said that, cardiovascular exercises will probably be recommended as a must in your fitness program.

    How Cardiovascular Exercise Will Help to Lose Weight

    The premise for cardiovascular exercise after weight loss surgery is pretty straightforward: When you burn more calories than you eat then you lose weight.

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    Whereas your goal is to lose weight from weight loss surgery Smile you should exercise at a certain intensity level. A target heart rate calculator can determine your optimum heart range but, once again, professional consultation should be sought before beginning. Once a determination is made about a proper intensity level, you can begin to sweat away calories.

    As your stamina improves, you can increase the intensity of your workout with your doctor’s permission. Changes in intensity translate into more calories burned. More effort equals better results from your bariatric surgery.

    The amount of food that you eat does not need to be compromised other than following your bariatric meal plan. If you are burning calories at an appropriate level there is no need to further reduce the amount that you eat.

    If you advance to strength training, your workouts will be restricted to every other day because your muscles will need down time to recover. Cardio exercises can be done daily or almost daily with less worry about injury for the average bariatric patient. Care needs to be taken by those who have joint damage and other mobility concerns.

    Guidelines for Calorie Burn

    For the purposes of this article, only impact and high impact exercises will be discussed.

    Impact exercises are exercises that involve some degree of impact such as walking. They will increase heart rate more quickly than no impact exercises.

    High impact exercises are those exercises that require running or jumping. More calories are burned using high impact exercises than using low impact exercises.

    Some examples of calorie burn for a 150 pound person using only low impact or impact exercises are for thirty minutes are 238 calories burned on a stationary bike, 270 calories burned swimming, and 170 calories burned walking.

    Cardiovascular Exercise Options

    One of the most recommended cardio exercises is walking. It is inexpensive and effective. Start slowly and gradually build to the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendation for aerobic exercise of 45 to 60 minutes 5 to 7 days per week, if you are able. If not, do what you can reasonably achieve with effort. Making an effort will yield more results than no or little effort.

    Swimming also is an exercise that is recommended frequently. Swimming burns calories and does not strain the joints. Even just walking in water or bobbing in water has dividends. This can be especially good options for weight loss surgery patients because much of the strain of our girth is lifted from our bodies by the water.

  • Cycling is another good option. You can bicycle around your neighborhood or ride a stationary bike indoors. Both will produce results. Each increases the heart rate and the impact on joints is minimal. I prefer the recombinent bike because it removes the weight of my girth from my pubic area and spreads it across my buttocks -- much more comfortable enabling me to ride longer.

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    Cardiovascular steppers also provide a good workout. If used correctly, they are low impact devices. Manipulating the resistance level allows for either building leg strength or promoting cardiovascular fitness.


    I have all of these equipment in my basement and strive to use them at least every other day. It truly makes the vital difference in maximizing weight loss in the first 6-mos after gastric bypass surgery, and maintaining that weight loss for the long haul.

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    My Story...
    You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.


Published On: May 11, 2012