Prp984

How soon after surgery do I start to exercise?

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Hi everyone! I'm about 5 days post-op and feel that I should be exercising. I only have access to an elliptical trainer as I live on a farm by the highway.

I'm very weak and tired still so I'm not sure how much I can actually exercise. But I feel that I should be doing something. And maybe by doing some exercise I will give me more energy...?

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It was walking only for me until cleared by the surgeon.  That was at the 6 week mark, I believe?  Still no abdominal work until several months if I remember correctly.

 Your surgeon's office should be able to advise you, but I'm guessing they will say walking only for a while.  You just had major surgery less than a week ago!

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I lost about 160 pounds with zero exercise, weight loss is primarily about what you put in your mouth. I'm not naysaying fitness, it's just that it has far more to do with cardio/vascular fitness and practically nothing to do with weight loss.

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i totally agree with TMCGEE, i lost 100 pounds without exercise aswell, it does depend on what you eat mostly :) if you exercise itll be a bonus because you won't have your skin sagging, I currently have loose skin now... lol

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Exercising will also give you energy yes, when i had surgery i was tired and dizzy aswell for 5 months..and found out it was low blood sugar.. My doctors recommended me 8 weeks out of surgery i can start exercising, depends how you feel, just keep drinking your protein and eating well, try planning a meal schedule because since your probably gonna be too nauseous to eat it will help you atleast get your food in even when your not that hungry, (sinceyou need to eat) lol 

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I know this thread is a few months old... but there is pretty good evidence that daily exercise contributes both the the rapidity of weight loss, and the total eventual weight loss that persists over time. The attached article (published in 2010) is an encompassing review of a number of studies (a meta-analysis). Both the increased activity burns more calories, and (depending upon the type of exercise) more muscle mass also translates to an higher metabolic rate. 

This review looks at groups of people, so of course it does not mean that an individual who does not exercise can't achieve their goal... or that a person who exercises a lot can't still manage to not reach goal through overeating. 

Nonetheless this strongly suggests that you really increase your chances of success through exercise. The study reported that on average, people who exercised had a mean BMI 4.2 lower than the non-exercisers, e.g. if the exercisers had a BMI of 24, the non-exercisers had a BMI of 28.2. 

 

Reference: 

Exercise Following Bariatric Surgery: Systematic Review

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2850994/

Exercise Following Bariatric Surgery 2010.pdf

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Everybody starts in a different place in terms of prior exercise capacity...

IMHO swimming is a great exercise as there is no wear-and-tear on the weight bearing joints like hips and knees. Bicycling too for the same reasons, plus you get to see the seasons change! - I have a nearby bike route that routinely took me an hour (60 minutes by the clock) and now, 24 days after surgery, I am doing it in 54-56 minutes - which has to be (in large part) that I am 31 lbs lighter! I am SO pumped about being on my bike, outdoors in the spring, and seeing a change in my route time!

Edited by BurgundyBoy
correct my grammar; correct weight loss number

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My physical therapist recommended that for the first week post-op, should really only be focusing on walking and not letting your body stiffen up. In addition to that, there's a weight limit of not lifting more than 15 pounds for 3-4 weeks depending on the rate of healing, but that doesn't exclude lifting hand weights or medicine balls while sitting down or using resistance bands for legs. She told me that the goal for exercise for post-op is to get back to your current level of exercise as fast as your body will let you following the above guidelines, and then trying to push yourself a little more each week. And a lot of that will come from walking.

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dear NyxinKC, can't recommend exercise enough. It is keeping my metabolic rate up and am losing weight like a bandit, not quite 4 weeks out from surgery. Walking is a great exercise, it very gently uses the abdominal muscles in your front and will aid the healing near your incisions/ laparoscopy sites. Swimming is good too in the same way since the water supports everything, and you exercise all your limbs and (very gently) your core.  

Best of luck with your sleeve on Monday!

 

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Dear NyxinKC, hope all has gone well for you. Let us know how you are doing!

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I cannot wait to get back to they gym after those 6 weeks. My struggle was tht I weighed too much to push exercise, even treadmill beyond  a point but with 20-40 pounds down Im hoping to really be able to do more while straining my muscles and joints less and just get into better shape.

How soon post-op do you folks think might be good to go swimming? I will ask my doc too but just asking if anyone here did.

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9 hours ago, Aksh said:

I cannot wait to get back to they gym after those 6 weeks. My struggle was tht I weighed too much to push exercise, even treadmill beyond  a point but with 20-40 pounds down Im hoping to really be able to do more while straining my muscles and joints less and just get into better shape.

How soon post-op do you folks think might be good to go swimming? I will ask my doc too but just asking if anyone here did.

I was cleared to start swimming as soon as my wounds were healed. I highly recommend it!

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10 hours ago, Aksh said:

I cannot wait to get back to they gym after those 6 weeks. My struggle was tht I weighed too much to push exercise, even treadmill beyond  a point but with 20-40 pounds down Im hoping to really be able to do more while straining my muscles and joints less and just get into better shape.

How soon post-op do you folks think might be good to go swimming? I will ask my doc too but just asking if anyone here did.

Hi Aksh, my surgeon cleared me for showering and swimming -> I was swimming 3 days after surgery, which seems much earlier than most people. My laparascopy sites were closed with a kind of glue, not external stitches, which might have affected how quickly I was cleared for swimming. If I had external sutures she might have wanted those to be out before I started swimming. I was careful to soap up my surgical sites after each swim and shower, but that is probably just my craziness. From the view of abdominal muscles, if you can walk you can swim. 

For the social support point of view:  I'm now swimming about 5 days out of 7, and cycling the other 2, always at least an hour. The guards and my fellow swimmers at my pool are actually really big supporters for me and I look forward to seeing whoever is at the pool when I go. If the day is hard or my spirits are low I know that I will feel good if I go to the pool. This past week my weight loss has been so obvious that even the most polite swimmers have noted that I am melting away (their words). Very reinforcing. 

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@BurgundyBoy I would like that but just to be on the safe side, I'm going to give it maybe 10 days to 2 weeks before I attempt swimming in a public pool. Doesn't hurt. And in the meantime maybe stick to basic cardio to get my body used to regular daily exercise again and then get back to it. And I think my doc uses dissolving stitches so might take me that bit longer anyway.

And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can have that "melting off" thing going for me too :D Cheers!

 

19 hours ago, Clickin said:

I was cleared to start swimming as soon as my wounds were healed. I highly recommend it!

Nice! :) Well with any luck, if I give myself a buffer of about a week or so post getting that all-clear (just in case) and I've dropped some respectable kilo's and am feeling better, I will definitely be getting back to swimming at least a few times a week.

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38 minutes ago, Aksh said:

@BurgundyBoy I would like that but just to be on the safe side, I'm going to give it maybe 10 days to 2 weeks before I attempt swimming in a public pool. Doesn't hurt. And in the meantime maybe stick to basic cardio to get my body used to regular daily exercise again and then get back to it. And I think my doc uses dissolving stitches so might take me that bit longer anyway.

And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can have that "melting off" thing going for me too :D Cheers!

 

Nice! :) Well with any luck, if I give myself a buffer of about a week or so post getting that all-clear (just in case) and I've dropped some respectable kilo's and am feeling better, I will definitely be getting back to swimming at least a few times a week.

Seems wise! 

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It also occurs to me (and I could be very wrong) that other problems and lack of physical exercise aside - some might have more of a "melting" effect to them post-op if they are very much emotional or habitual consumers of extremely high-calorie/junk food so that pretty when they stop consuming those thousands of calories a day and drop that drastically while maintaining even a basic/moderate exercise regimen, the sudden change in intake vs burn-off might likely lead to (at least for a short while) a pretty good drop in weight/fat AND if like you they push a lot from very early in that process, the combo of the above plus greater activity levels that will inevitably boost your metabolism would have a possibly shocking drop leading to said "melting".

Wow, just realised that might be the longest single sentence I can remember ever writing. :D

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@Aksh Hey Aksh - you can write a longer one - go for it! ;)

You're right about the junk food stuff. I think most people on this site have already foregone the junk before their WLS. My nutritionist wanted to see my daily logs before she would clear me for WLS. [If I had revealed how many potato chips, gallons of beer, Twinkies, pizza slices, and deep fat fried breaded sticks of butter I was eating she probably would have not allowed my WLS]. 

 

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I wasn't cleared for swimming until 3 weeks after surgery. I remember quite vividly the day I went swimming, it was 3 weeks to the DAY of surgery. I was very eager to go, and I had a wonderful time, however I did get very tired. It was my idea that if I spent a lot of time in the water, I wouldn't have loose skin. That, however, has not worked out. But oh well, at least my loose skin makes me giggle when it jiggles. 

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Hahahaha! Yeah, I can image :D There are moments where my belly fat has jiggled and given me a laugh but it got old after enough years so looking forward to the kind of jiggling you mean @Zyia

I'm hoping that I can feel energised/not-in-pain enough after the surgery to attempt swimming 3 weeks post op. Honestly I've been a bit unclear on that and just assumed it varies person to person because for the most part people who've had it (barring those with complications of course) seem to be relatively up and about and capable of mostly normalish activity within a few days to a week but I've also seen folks like my uncle who basically confined himself to the house for a full month post-op before he ventured anywhere beyond going downstairs to walk in circles in the garden behind his house.

Also really looking forward to maybe a month or so post-op once my doc clears me, to get into weight training, between that and swimming, Ive got my fingers crossed for some solid results in the first few months.

@BurgundyBoy Yeah, processed and fried snacks and chocolate and such... Ive had weeks and months where that's all I

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Aksh, you'll do well. Good luck with the upcoming surgery - on the 30th, right?. The only pain I had after the first post-operative week when exercising was due to having un-exercised muscles, not anything related to surgery. I had minor discomfort at my surgical sites which was to be expected. Just being in the habit of something gentle like walking will serve you well when it comes time to try more. As @Zyia says, common to feel tired. 

 

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