Many patients are hesitant about exercising after surgery, but exercise is an essential component of success after surgery. Exercise begins on the afternoon of surgery - the patient must be out of bed and walking. The goal is to walk further on the next day, and progressively further every day after that, including the first few weeks at home.
Patients are often released from medical restrictions and encouraged to begin exercising about two weeks after surgery, limited only by the level of wound discomfort. The type of exercise is dictated by the patient's overall condition. Some patients who have severe knee problems can't walk well, but may be able to swim or bicycle. Many patients begin with low stress forms of exercise and are encouraged to progress to more vigorous activity when they are able.
Your doctor will prescribe an exercise routine for you when you’re ready to leave hospital. You may be expected to exercise aerobically every day for at least 20 minutes (one-mile brisk walk, bike riding, stair climbing). Weight/resistance exercise can be added 3-4 days per week, as instructed by your doctor.
Easy Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your New Lifestyle
Exercise doesn’t have to involve a gym or special clothes or equipment. Increasing your activity level throughout the day in small ways add up to a more healthy metabolism. There are plenty of ways to include exercise as part of your new lifestyle. Be creative and have fun. Here are some easy things to consider:
- Park at the far end of parking lots and walk
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Reduce the time you spend sitting and watching television
- Swim or participate in low-impact water aerobics
- Ride an exercise bike
Overall, walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Start out slowly and build up. Your doctor, or people in a support group, can offer encouragement and advice. Incorporating exercise into your daily activities will improve your overall health and is important for any long-term weight management program, including surgery.
For More Information
Talk to your doctor for more information about Danbury Hospital. Call us at 1-800-516-3657 or attend a free event. Learn more about how to lose weight and if bariatric surgery is for you.