As you begin the post-surgery regiment that will follow your bariatric surgery, your surgeon and treatment team will make recommendations about a program of diet and exercise. Hopefully, you will be enthused about the prospects and pursue your health with some real vigor. Make no mistake though, maintenance can be challenging.
Some help to at least get started might be a good idea. Incorporating a dietician or nutritionist along with a personal trainer into your bariatric treatment team could very well be the foundation you need for an extended and permanent success.
Before beginning a program of exercise, a point that needs to be emphasized and reemphasized is to first consult with your bariatric surgeon and primary care physician. Such input is critical and should never be underestimated.
The Benefits of a Personal Trainer
A personal trainer will help determine your fitness level, help you establish and set goals, create a personalized program with you, and motivate you along the way.
Personal trainers will help guide you toward your goals as well as educate you about cardio, strength training, and basic nutrition. She will also hold you accountable for your performance.
Attributes of a Qualified Personal Trainer
Should you choose to get a personal trainer, you will no doubt want a good one. Specific qualities should be sought as you make your selection.
Your choice for a personal trainer should be certified through a reputable training organization. Pertinent education beyond certification is a plus. The more education your personal trainer has, the better.
Your personal trainer should have a current certification in CPR.
Your personal trainer should have experience in her field and enough education to address specific medical problems or injuries. Personal training for bariatric patients is more specialized in that the bariatric patient might very well have a history of medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Your personal trainer should also be a good listener.
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Recommendations
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, obese patients should engage in exercise programs that give special attention to aerobics, resistance training, and flexibility training.
Aerobic training is the exercise program that will burn the greatest amount of calories. The probable starting point for aerobic exercise will be low-impact efforts such as walking or working out on an elliptical.
Resistance training is accomplishing using free-weights, and flexibility training will help to improve range of motion. One of the best approaches for improving range of motion is stretching exercises.
ACSM recommendations for frequency of exercise is five to seven days per week of aerobic exercise and two to three non-consecutive days per week of resistance training.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) maintains that aerobic sessions can extend between 45 and 60 minutes. Resistance exercises are to be completed one step at a time, and range of motion stretching should be held for 15 to 20 seconds to meet the goal of flexibility.