June 2022

Cardio, Strength and Flexibility After Surgery

After surgery, there are three key areas you should focus on when it comes to exercise


#1. CARDIO: Burning Calories and Giving You More Energy

Regular cardio vascular exercise (or “cardio”) has a lot of benefits.

It can give you more energy and help you sleep better as well as improve fitness.

Our bodies are made to move, and getting your blood pumping in a good way you can boost your metabolism and energy levels. It can also help you work through anxiety and improves sleep, which is proven to alleviate depression and improve mental health!

Cardio also produces endorphins, which can increase your confidence.

It strengthens your heart and lungs, increases bone density (which can assist to ward off osteoporosis).

Early after surgery, walking is recommended as it may decrease risk of complications and improve your recovery. Eventually, water workouts and swimming can be very good low impact options. Running or hiking are very invigorating outdoor options

#2. STRENGTH TRAINING: Keeping Your Lean Muscle Mass

Strength training is important to help you maintain your lean muscle mass.

By maintaining your muscle mass you are also maintaining your body’s calorie burning engine. It also helps keep your bones strong. Strength training is also great for toning and for building muscle so that you can be more active and enjoy life more.

When it comes to strength training, it i’s important to start slow. Lunges, squats, and lifting weights are all great exercises for strength training.

Sit-ups, crunches or other core exercises can also be an excellent toning exercise after bariatric surgery and can produce greater core strength to prevent future injuries.

#3. FLEXIBILITY: Preventing Injuries

Flexibility training is important to help you avoid injuring yourself. If you feel sore or tight after your workout, flexibility training can help. It can also help you avoid straining yourself when you’re running or lifting weights.

What’s a great flexibility workout? Stretching. When you are stretching, it’s important to be careful.

Take each stretch slowly and hold it for ten seconds–don’t bounce up and down.Go far enough that you feel a burn, but pull back if you feel sharp pain.

Jacqui Lewis

BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

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