Running is probably not the activity most bariatric patients think will be their exercise of choice after their gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery. Walking, biking, pilates, or Zumba might come to mind before running. Even kickboxing. But running shouldn’t be put to the bottom of your list. It may not be easy, especially at first, but running has a ton of great benefits. If you don’t really believe us, we’ve listed only 5 out of the many benefits of running:
- Running may help you live longer- According to a Stanford University study of middle aged runners and non-runners, after 19 years 15% of runner died compared to 34% of non-runners. Runners also reported fewer age related disabilities and overall better health.
- Running relieves stress and improves your mood- Running is a known stress reliever. It can give you a constructive way to get your stress out and come home calmer and with a clearer head. Maybe that helps contribute to a better mood, or the improved mood might be from the endorphins or “runner’s high,” which is a euphoric feeling after aerobic exercise that also helps to reduce pain.
- It’s very accessible- Running can be done right outside your door. Any time you want to do it. No need to drive anywhere. No closing time to worry about. You can do it whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. It’s also free, which makes it even more accessible.
- Running is a great calorie burner- Walking is good, we would never want to discourage walking. But, running burns more than twice the calories in the same amount of time. Not only does the exercise itself burn more calories, but the “after-burn” burns more calories, too. One study lists the calories burned from walking an 18 minute mile as 5.95 calories/minute while running at 10 minute mile burned 15.86 calories/minute, both which include the “after burn,” which is nearly three times the calories!
- It can be a great way to meet people- This may sound backwards since running is typically thought of as a solitary activity. But, many areas have running clubs, which are groups of like minded people of all activity levels who meet up and can offer support to one another. They may do charity runs together or meet up on their own. This can be a great way to find a running buddy and form friendships that can provide the encouragement and motivation you may need to keep going and to go more often. For bariatric patients in Florida, check out the directory of local running clubs to see if one might be near you.
See, what did we tell you! Running can have some amazing benefits in addition to the basic one: weight loss. Any exercise that burns calories can contribute to weight loss, which is crucial to achieving your weight loss goal after gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery. Dr. Shillingford encourages all of his patients who have been cleared to exercise. Running may not be for everyone, and that’s OK. But bariatric patients should exclude running from their list just because they may not be able to run far or fast right now. Practice makes us better, and it’s a good thing that practice also helps us lose weight and improve our health!
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, is a Boca Raton based board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients are encouraged to incorporate exercise and strength training into their post bariatric surgery lifestyle (after an appropriate amount of time and have been cleared to exercise by Dr. Shillingford). If you are considering bariatric surgery, we encourage you to attend one of Dr. Shillingford’s free informational sessions to learn which surgery- gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band- is the right fit for you. Call Dr. Shillingford at (561) 483-8840 to schedule your free informational session today.