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How to Start Exercising Whilst Overweight

Bariatric surgery is an excellent way to accelerate your weight loss journey, however we all know that it’s only one big piece of the health puzzle.

There’s absolutely no need to wait until after your surgery to develop healthier habits, such as exercising more frequently, in fact it’s a great way to use the often months long waiting period! Developing healthier eating habits, exercise and awareness of your habits can reduce risks of surgery and increase your recovery. Also, when the surgery rolls around, these healthy practices are already in place and you’ll find it easier to follow your doctor’s guidelines.

Break Down Mental Barriers Around Exercise

For some, the thought of exercising can be intimidating. This is completely understandable since from an early age, we are taught that “fit” and “healthy” bodies should look a certain way. If you
fall outside this very narrow image, you can feel unwelcome in spaces such as gyms or exercise classes.

The truth is, being active is for everyone – regardless of size, gender, or age. The ability to move our bodies is one of the great privileges of being alive! Your body was made for this. Just look at a
baby learning how to walk – our bodies know what to do, it just takes a little practice! Start to view movement and activity as something we get to do, not something we have to do.

Think outside the box, there are plenty of places to go other than the major commercial gyms full of Instagrammers and Bro Lifters, to find support and community. There are boutique gyms, smaller group training studios and dedicated coaches, such as M Theory Fitness right here in Mandurah. The best thing about movement and being active is that it’s in your control. You can go at your own pace, do whatever makes you feel most comfortable and have fun.

Benefits of Exercise

We all know that exercising burns calories and increases cardiac fitness, but there are some other benefits you might not know about. People who have bariatric surgeries can experience a reduction is muscle mass along with body-fat. Starting a resistance based training program can help maintain, or even increase, your muscle mass, resulting in more strength, higher daily calorie burn and a firmer shape once you loose the weight!

Resistance training has also been shown to increase bone density, which declines after your 30’s, keeping you stronger and less at risk of injury. Exercise also has benefits for your skin. Studies have shown that a good training program including weights can increase your skin elasticity and encourage it to shrink with you as the kilo’s come off!

Getting Started

There’s no need to go from 0-100 right off the bat. Just take your current activity level and turn it up by maybe 20%. This might mean going for an extra walk, starting at a gym 1 day per week or starting a home program. If you’re worried about joint pain, walking in a swimming pool is a fantastic substitute (or even swimming)! Exercise bikes are also low impact exercise and reduce joint shock. Getting advice from someone who can support your journey and reduce your injury risk an be a valuable investment in your long term success.

Just remember – It’s all about taking small steps to achieve your fitness goals.

Exercise with Friends

Including a friend in your activity helps you stay committed and motivates you. You’re not just going for a walk or doing some yoga workout; you also get to catch up and have a laugh! Having support from friends and family is an important part of the process, build your cheer-squad and reach out for support.

Other Things to Consider:

  • Stay hydrated when you’re active – remember we need 8-10 glasses a day minimum!
  • If you experience chaffing, try using deodorant or talc on the affected area, for example, between the thighs or under the breasts. Chaffing is usually caused by moisture mixed with friction. The deodorant can reduce moisture build-up and make movement easier.
  • Fitness diaries or apps can be really helpful for tracking your goals, gaining motivation, and feeling a sense of achievement. Check out this article for the best fitness apps for beginners.
  • If you find walking affects your joints, try water walking. Public pools always have a lane reserved just for walking. It’s an excellent way to move your body without the jolting of walking
    on land.

Do you want to learn more about developing healthy habits and exercising?

Perth Obesity Surgery is a leader in bariatric surgery Perth, click here to book your consultation today.

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