In working with our gastric bypass patients, The Bariatric Center of Kansas City has learned a few things about the weight loss journey. We know that obesity is not just a struggle with food. Those who struggle with obesity also struggle with physical activity. Exercise is difficult because most people today lead very sedentary lifestyles. Lack of exercise and movement counts as a major risk factor for chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis (brittle bones).
A 2010 study found that, compared to women who spent fewer than three hours a day sitting, those who sat six hours or more were 34 percent more likely to die at a younger age. So, exercise is vital to your post gastric bypass or gastric sleeve journey! Movement, becoming more active, is now understood to have the most impact on your health and length of life. The benefits of increasing your movement are plentiful . . .
- Muscles increase in size, gaining strength and endurance.
- Body weight is easier to maintain. Because muscle uses lots of fuel, the rate at which you burn calories increases.
- Bones thicken under the influence of weight-bearing and resistance exercises (working against weights, bands, or your own body weight), which reduces the risk of osteoporosis. To stimulate bone, do weight-bearing and resistance exercises.
- Joints become more flexible when moved through their full range of motion. Strengthening the muscles around joints protects them and eases arthritis symptoms.
- The health of heart, lungs, and blood vessels improves with aerobic exercise—the type that uses big muscles and increases your pulse and respiratory rate to the point you can talk but not sing.
- The nervous system functions more optimally. Mood, attention, learning, and memory improve.
- Exercise relieves stress and anxiety and aids recovery from depression.
- Moderate daily exercise improves nighttime sleep and reduces fatigue, even in energy-zapping conditions such as cancer.
- Exercise increases tissue sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that ushers blood sugar inside cells. For that reason, the risk of type 2 diabetes declines.
- Exercise also increases growth hormone, which stimulates growth, cellular reproduction and regeneration, and maintenance of muscle and bone.
- The digestive system works better. Irritable bowel syndrome improves.
- Exercise has benefits for your sex life. Working out makes you feel better about yourself, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in sexual arousal, and protects arterial health, thereby reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction. A study in women found that a bout of exercise counteracted the libido-dampening effect of antidepressants.
- Exercise reduces the risk of some cancers.
Introducing movement into your daily routine is one of the most important changes to embrace after gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery. Exercise is vital to your body’s recovery, inside and out. A little movement increases your energy and leads to more movement. It is possible to leave behind your sedentary life in exchange for a life full of dancing, hiking, cycling, skating, and sledding with friends. Even better, exercise improves your health, protects against stroke and cardiovascular diseases (high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.), lowers LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol and elevates HDL (“good”) cholesterol, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, and boosts the immune system – all of which means you can do what you love with your friends and family for many more years to come.
If you would like more information on surgery, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve, or the benefits of exercise post-surgery, feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City. We enjoy helping people create healthier lives and are here to help you throughout your entire weight loss journey.
Credits to EverydayHealth.com; “Exercise is not Optional: Your Life Depends on It!“, written by: Linda B. White, MD