Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy
Sleeve Gastrectomy :: Procedure Guide :: Risks and Complications :: Post Operative Instructions
Living with Sleeve Gastrectomy
Your activity will be restricted to no strenuous activity for four to six weeks after the operation. You may walk and perform light household duties as tolerated upon your return home. Usually, frequent walks of short duration are tolerated better than one or two long walks that go to or past the point of fatigue. Increase the distance that you walk gradually. By the time you are six weeks post-op, you should be walking regularly, unless you have specific problems with your weight bearing joints. In this case, water exercises are recommended. Check with your surgeon about starting water activities. Usually this is about three weeks after surgery.
Starting an Exercise Program
You are already aware that bariatric surgery is merely a tool for weight loss. Of course, this means that in order to receive the maximum benefits from your surgery, you must incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Patients report exercise as a key factor in their ability to maintain their weight and continue losing weight. Exercise does burn some calories, but most importantly exercise increases your metabolism (rate your body burns energy or calories). After bariatric surgery and weight loss the body naturally has a decrease in metabolism. Exercise is the main way to increase the fall in your metabolism (energy burning) after surgery. That means when exercise is part of your lifestyle, you burn more energy (calories) even when you are resting – That’s good news!
If you want to feel good and maintain and build muscle mass, you must exercise. Exercise helps you lose weight and stimulates the production of “the good feeling” hormones called endorphins. Exercise also helps to keep your bone tissue dense and strong, increases strength and balance, boosts energy and improves quality of life. The mistake many patients make is that they do not start exercising right away. Patients who work hard on exercise early after surgery find it very rewarding. As the weight falls off, the capacity for exercise improves dramatically, with significant improvements on a week-by-week basis. Do not cheat your body of this important aspect of weight loss. Make a long-term commitment to exercising!
Yes, exercise is hard. It is difficult to stay motivated. Try to find exercises that you may like. Look into forms of exercise that you may have never tried before. Explore yoga, dancing, roller-skating, tai chi, kickboxing, hiking, etc… Exercise does not mean that you have to be in a gym for hours a day. If it has been some time since you have exercised regularly, then it is best to start slowly. Begin with as little as 5 minutes a day and add 5 more minutes a week until you can stay active for 45 minutes per day. We recommend that you make exercise part of your daily routine and put it in your schedule like any other appointment. Exercising with a friend or family member to keep you accountable is also helpful. Just being an active person is not enough exercise to be able to lose the weight and keep it off.
Three forms of exercise:
Cardiovascular, Strength-building, and Flexibility.
Cardiovascular exercise is also known as aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise uses your large muscles and can be continued for long periods. For example, walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling are aerobic activities. These types of exercises drive your body to use oxygen more efficiently and deliver maximum benefits to your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. A simple definition of cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate to a level where you can still talk, but it is difficult and you start to sweat a little. To begin, at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 or 4 days a week will help build a good fitness level. Keep in mind, however, that any movement is good, even house or yard work.
Strength-building exercises are known as anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise does not have cardiovascular benefits, but it makes your muscles and bones stronger. Strength-building exercises require short, intense effort. People who lift weights or use any type of equipment that requires weights are doing strength-building exercise. Strength-building exercise makes your muscles and bones stronger and increases your metabolism. Strength exercises also make your muscles stronger and increase their mass. Your muscles use calories for energy even when your body is at rest. So, by increasing your muscle mass, you are burning more calories all of the time. If you strength train regularly, you will find that your body looks leaner and you will lose fat. Strength building exercises should be performed 2 to 3 times a week for best results. Always warm up your muscles for 5 to 10 minutes before you begin lifting any type of weight or before performing any resistance exercises.
Flexibility exercises, which are also anaerobic, tone your muscles through stretching and can prevent muscle and joint problems later in life. A well-balanced exercise program should include some type of exercise from each category.