Burn more calories after weight loss surgery
Patients frequently ask me about ways to exercise after weight loss surgery. Exercise for these patients presents its unique challenges but can benefit someone tremendously if done properly.
Some of the most common reasons patients are reluctant to exercise after weight loss surgery include:
- 1. lack of time
- 2. not sure what exercise would be best for them
- 3. fear of injury
- 4. doubt about the effectiveness of exercise
The following 3 tips are designed to help patients start exercising and maximize its benefits:
- 1. A person who has just had weight loss surgery and is new to exercise should avoid running or lifting weights.
- 2. One of the best ways to benefit from exercise activity would be to arrange for proper monitoring of one’s physical activity via a heart rate monitor. Heart rate is the best indication of how efficient your exercise is. When the heart rate is too low, you are not burning enough calories even if you are exercising for a prolonged period of time. On the opposite side, if the heart rate is too high, your body will shut down your metabolism and you can sustain an injury. The exercise becomes counterproductive at that point since your body will try to conserve the energy. The “perfect” heart rate for calorie burning in each individual depends on their age, physical shape and many other factors. You can consult your physician to get advice on the optimal heart rate for you. Monitoring your heart rate should be done with the minimal burden. Look for a wrist-mounted monitor, not the chest-mounted one. The latter is too cumbersome to put on and you will therefore be less likely to use it. Remember, your goal is to make exercise less burdensome!
- 3. The best exercise to start with is spinning. When set up properly, exercising on a spinning bike will not ruin your joints because they do not bear your weight during spinning activity. It is critical that you set up the spinning bike properly. The height of the saddle is very important and should result in your leg being only slightly bent at the lowest point. Your feet should be fixed snugly in the straps on the pedals. Alternatively, you may want to invest in a pair of spinning shoes. You should spin at no less than 80 RPMs while maintaining your target heart rate. If you are spinning too slowly, you may be putting too much pressure on your knees! Adjust resistance on the spinning bike to find the best setting. In this setting you will only need 10 minutes to get a decent workout. It would be sufficient to do this 3 times a week to burn a decent amount of calories. It is only 30 min per week!
Remember, the results come not from the length of the exercise but from its efficiency.