LivingAfterWLS> Library > Exercise and Fitness

Suggested Reading

  • Rule 4: Daily Exercise
  • 24 Reasons to Exercise
  • Walking
  • Weight Loss Through Walking
  • Walking Program
  • Exercise Videos Rock
  • Fit Is It Challenge
  • Keeping an Exercise Journal
  • Strength Training for Beginners
  • Extreme Sports After WLS
  • First 5K Walk After WLS

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    Featured Article: Fit Is It Challenge

    Objective: To accomplish a minimum 180 minutes per week of organized exercise including cardiovascular, strength and flexibility activity in an overall program to strengthen my body, boost my self-esteem and control my weight. (Adapt this objective to meet your present needs)

    Fit Is It Challenge Worksheet - Download now!

    Cardiovascular - Cardio exercise such as walking, tricks the body into burning more fat as fuel. Cardio exercise raises the heart rate and produces a sweat. Aerobics, walking, swimming, biking, bench stepping running and jogging are forms of cardio exercise. By continually challenging the body's cardiovascular fitness the body soon burns more fat than carbohydrate during exercise and rest, thus resulting in more weight loss and better weight maintenance.

    Aim for at least 3-25 minute cardio sessions a week. Walking is a great way to start your cardiovascular program and walking is also known to stave off symptoms of depression.

    Strength-Training - Also called resistance training or weight lifting, strength training is a key component to enjoying a healthy body. Strength training builds strong muscle and bones. In addition it elevates the body's metabolism helping us to sustain weight loss. For two or three 20-minute workouts a week we can build strong bones, improve muscle quality and boost our metabolism. That's a fabulous return on a small investment.

    Aim for at least two 20-minute strength-training workouts a week using weights or resistance bands that tax muscles during the last few repetitions on each set of exercise.

    Flexibility - Also called stretching it is the third part of the fitness triangle. Stretching improves range of motion and flexibility, improves coordination and helps prevent muscle strain and other injuries. In addition, according to fitness expert Denise Austin, "Stretching helps counteract stress by helping you take a time-out. During that 5-minute stretch break your frenzied thoughts slow down and order themselves, helping you to calm down and reexamine your feelings and emotions."

    Fit in flexibility or stretching moments into your day as often as possible.

    Obstacles: The most common "Obstacles" I hear from people who elect not to use exercise with their WLS tool are, lack of time, too busy to exercise, too embarrassed and waiting until after losing the weight, can't afford gym membership or simply don't like exercise. These are excuses, not obstacles. I'm going on a soapbox here to say if we went to the trouble, risk and cost to have weight loss surgery there is no room for excuses. Exercise is non-negotiable. Now, I am not saying you have to run a marathon or lift your body weight on the bench press. I'm saying you have to get out and walk. You have to stretch your hands above your head and stretch your body. You have to challenge your muscles with resistance or weight training. We all nodded yes to our surgeons and committed to doing this. We all yearned for a healthier life. We made promises to ourselves, our loved ones, our God that if we could get WLS we would make exercise a part of our life. Keep that promise.

    Thirty minutes a day - six days a week. There are no excuses for denying the health benefits from a mere 2.5 hours a week. No excuses! Make exercise a part of your schedule. Let others know you are committed and tell them how they can support you in this life-enhancing necessity. Do not waver. You committed to this and you owe it to yourself to honor your healthy new lifestyle.

    Fit Is It Challenge Worksheet - Download now!

    Track Your Progress: The "Fit Is It" worksheet attached takes the challenge one week at a time. It tracks activity and total time spent in exercise each day. At the end of the week I total my time and activity. Feel free to modify this worksheet for your specific needs. At the top right corner is a line for "Week #": I set mini-goals usually in 8-week segments. You can set mini-goals for any number of weeks. By numbering each sheet I can look back and see my progress. In addition to the cardio, strength and flexibility lines there is a line for "Other". That allows accounting for other activity more physical than my normal day but not necessarily formal exercise. In the summer I include things like mowing lawn or gardening. In the winter you might see an entry for shoveling snow or mall shopping. The "Other" activities do not replace my scheduled exercise they simply enhance my physical and mental wellness. "Other" activities let me celebrate a healthy body that before WLS I could only dream about.

    Celebrate Milestones: Just like celebrating the descending numbers on the scale we should celebrate milestones along the path to better fitness. Take time to relish each new mile walked, each new weight lifted. Savor the first time you can stretch and touch your toes! This is what we had WLS for! These are our moments - don't pass them by without clapping your hands and jumping for joy. This is the prize for the price we paid with WLS.

    Learn More:
    Remember all the research we did before your WLS? We learned each bariatric procedure, the names of body parts and what was going to happen during surgery. Using that same enthusiasm we must constantly pursue knowledge to make our new WLS bodies healthier and stronger. Here are some terrific websites with detailed photos and instructions for including cardio, strength and flexibility in your LivingAfterWLS lifestyle

    Fit Is It Challenge Worksheet - Download now!

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