After you’ve recovered from Lap-Band surgery, you’ll be expected to adopt a physical activity routine that’s specific to your capabilities. It’s beneficial because it will help you burn calories and increase your odds of seeing positive results with your procedure. Regular exercise also produces hormones called endorphins that improve your mood and stimulate collagen production to make your skin firmer. Here’s what you need to know about exercise after Lap-Band.
When to Start Exercising
Most patients are able to start doing some type of regular exercise a few weeks after their procedure after the soreness has gone away. Research suggests consistent exercise may result in a body mass index that’s about 4 percent lower for weight-loss patients. A study of 200 bariatric patients found that exercise was second only to diet when it came to what patients could do to increase their odds of seeing positive, lasting results with a weight loss procedure.
Begin with Walking
Walking is recommended as soon as you are able to comfortably get around. Stick to flat, even surfaces and slowly increase the lengths of your walks. Start by walking at a casual pace for about 20-30 minutes a day. You can also spread it out throughout the day by going for a short stroll in the morning, a mid-day walk to the park, and a short walk after dinner. As your endurance increases, you should be able to safely go for longer walks.
Improve Your Core Muscle Strength
Once you get comfortable with walking, transition to other forms of exercise. You may want to consider working with a personal trainer if you want to try core strengthening exercises to improve your flexibility and posture. If you had back pain prior to Lap-Band surgery, core strengthening can increase support for your spine. You should be able to safely adopt a more aggressive endurance routine after about six weeks post-surgery. You’re more likely to stick with a more demanding fitness routine if you set smaller, achievable goals.
Explore Gentler Forms of Exercise with Similar Benefits
If a gym workout isn’t going to motivate you, consider gentler forms of exercise that target the same muscle groups in different ways. Pilates and yoga, for instance, involve slow, controlled movements that target most muscle groups. Some yoga positions may also help with digestion. Water-based exercises can also work similar muscle groups.
As your strength and endurance increases, you’ll be able to safely incorporate other forms of exercise into your life. You’ll likely have more of an incentive to stay active if you include activities you find enjoyable. Your doctor can help you determine what forms of exercise will likely be beneficial for you after Lap-Band surgery. Keep in mind that even small things like working in your garden and taking your dog for a walk count as exercise.