Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients know that exercise, along with their low calorie diet, is crucial to maximize their weight loss success. There’s just no getting around the fact that exercise helps burn calories, reduce body fat, build lean muscle mass, and helps improve both blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Workouts and strength training should be incorporated into a bariatric patient’s new lifestyle after they have been cleared to exercise by their bariatric surgeon.
There is no best workout for bariatric patients. The exercises each person enjoys the most and can consistently perform is what is best for them. For some that could be walking, jogging, or running, or it could be shooting hoops with their kids, barre classes, kickboxing, CrossFit, pilates, Zumba, or any number of heart pumping, muscle building activities. For many just starting out, those working their way up to more strenuous activities, or those recovering from sickness or injury, bodyweight exercises can be easily incorporated into their daily routines oftentimes in the comfort of their own home.
Dr. Shillingford has shared a few bodyweight exercises before (Burpees, Squats, Planks, Side Planks?). Bodyweight exercises are good as they do not require special equipment or training. They can be done day or night, rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, with a buddy or alone. They can even be performed while you’re waiting for something (like for a pot to boil, for the oven to preheat, something to cook in the microwave, or for the shower to warm up).
Now, we’ve got three more bodyweight exercise for Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients to try:
- Double Leg Lift: Lay on a soft mat with your legs together. While keeping your lower back pressed to the mat, lift both of your legs up toward the ceiling and lower back down. It sounds easier than it is. If this method is too difficult at first, try bending your knees.
- Side Lunges: Regular lunges have you stepping one leg forward and dipping down. Side lunges go laterally, giving your muscles, ligaments, and tendons a different challenge. Standing upright with your arms at your sides, step one leg to the side more than shoulder width apart. Bend your knee and press into the lunge, making your body into a triangle to the floor. Repeat with the other leg.
- Plie Squats: This lower leg blaster can be a great starter exercise for those just beginning to exercise. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart, feet pointing outward, hands at your sides. Lower down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor while bending elbows and raising your hands to the ceiling. Push back into a standing position and repeat.
While these bodyweight exercises can not replace calorie burning cardio workouts for weight loss, they help get your heart pumping and muscles stretching and strengthening. They work great when you otherwise can’t fit in your regular exercise, such as when it’s raining, when you can’t make it to the gym, or when you need a less strenuous exercise for a day. As with any exercise regime, bariatric surgery patients must be cleared to exercise and lift weight by Dr. Shillingford, MD or their bariatric surgeon.
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a Center of Excellence Surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band surgery as well as advanced laparoscopic surgeries (hernia repair, gallbladder removal, or appendectomy). Dr. Shillingford’s reputation for excellent surgical skills and comfortable bedside manner attract patients from all over Florida, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Jacksonville. His weight loss surgery patients receive top notch care during their hospital stay at Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, where he serves as Medical Director, and during their follow up care in his Boca Raton office. Dr. Shillingford encourages his gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery patients to incorporate exercise into their daily lives to maximize their weight loss efforts.