5445.jpegEvery April, the American Heart Association celebrates Move More Month, an initiative to remind us of the simple yet profound health benefits of moving more throughout our day. This campaign underscores the importance of regular physical activity for maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and improving mental health.

Unfortunately, incorporating more movement into our daily routines can be challenging amidst busy schedules, sedentary jobs, and other barriers. And for those who have recently undergone bariatric surgery, the idea of getting more active can be even more daunting due to physical limitations and the necessity of a carefully managed increase in activity.

For those who've undergone weight loss surgery, it's crucial to approach physical activity with mindfulness. Post-bariatric surgery, the body undergoes significant changes that require a gradual and informed approach to exercise. Improving your movement regimen isn't just about losing weight; it's about strengthening your muscles, enhancing your flexibility, boosting your metabolism, and speeding up your recovery.

At Atlanta Bariatrics, we understand the unique challenges and considerations that come with increasing physical activity post-bariatric surgery, and we're committed to supporting your journey toward achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss your post-surgery exercise plan. Together, we can create a tailored strategy to help you move more, feel better, and live your healthiest life.

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Understanding Bariatric Surgery & Your Body

Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery is a significant step towards a healthier life for many people. Typically, individuals with a high body mass index (BMI) who have not achieved lasting weight loss with diet and exercise alone turn to weight loss surgeries like gastric bypass as a sustainable solution. Conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea, often aggravated by obesity, further underscore the need for effective intervention.

In the short term, bariatric surgery reduces the stomach's capacity, significantly reducing food intake and leading to rapid weight loss. Initially, this dramatic change requires a specific dietary regimen to ensure your body receives the nutrition it needs without overwhelming your reconfigured digestive system.

Over the long term, besides losing excess weight, patients usually see remarkable improvements in obesity-related conditions. However, it's crucial to understand that surgery is a tool, not a cure. Sustaining weight loss and health improvements depends on committing to a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity.

However, every person’s recovery and ability to engage in physical activities will differ after metabolic and bariatric surgery. It's crucial to be patient and tune in to what your body is telling you. Rushing into intense exercise too soon can hinder recovery and potentially cause harm. Listening to your body—recognizing when to push a little and when to rest—is necessary for proper healing and progress.

Simple Ways to Increase Daily Steps

Before making any significant changes to your physical activity, especially after bariatric surgery, it's essential to consult with your doctor. This step ensures your safety and health are always prioritized.

Your body is unique, and what works for someone else might not be suitable for you. Therefore, discussing your plans to move more and get your steps in with your healthcare provider before you start is crucial to making informed and beneficial decisions toward your health and well-being.

Generally speaking, starting slowly and gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your workouts is key to avoiding injury after your surgery. Aerobic exercise, like walking or swimming, can be a fantastic way to lose weight and improve cardiovascular health. Begin with short durations, say 10 to 15 minutes a day, then gradually increase as you feel more comfortable and your endurance improves.

In addition to regular workouts, there are several simple ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Park your car further away from your destination and walk the extra distance.
  • Do household chores like vacuuming, washing dishes, or gardening.
  • Take a short walk during your lunch break.

Small, manageable changes like these can add to significant improvements in your daily physical activity level. But, for those looking to add a fun twist to increasing their step count, consider outdoor activities that naturally encourage more movement. 

For example, hiking local trails can offer a scenic and enjoyable way to get in your steps while exploring the beauty of nature.Webb Bridge Park in Alpharetta,W.P. Jones Park Nature Trail in Duluth, and the  Autrey Mill Nature Preserve Trails in Johns Creek are just a few nearby options for those in the Atlanta area.

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How to Stay Motivated

Staying motivated in your physical activity journey after bariatric surgery begins with setting achievable fitness goals. A great starting point is to use tools like step trackers and fitness apps, which can be invaluable companions in monitoring your progress and celebrating milestones. These devices allow you to set daily step goals tailored to your current ability and gradually increase them as your fitness improves, giving you a tangible record of your progress.

Another effective way to stay motivated is by finding a workout buddy. Having a friend or family member join you in your physical activity journey can make it more enjoyable and help keep you accountable. Plus, having someone to share the experience with can provide much-needed support and encouragement during challenging times.

Celebrating small victories is crucial to keeping your motivation high. Whether reaching a daily step goal, adding an extra block to your walk, or simply feeling more energetic, acknowledging these achievements reinforces your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Remember, every step forward, no matter how small, is progress.

Ultimately, the most crucial factor in staying motivated is focusing on the physical and mental health benefits, such as improved energy levels, mood, and overall well-being. By keeping your 'why' in mind, you can stay committed to regular physical activity and continue reaping its many benefits during your weight loss journey.

Find Professional Guidance at Atlanta Bariatrics

Move More Month is a great reminder of why we should incorporate more physical activity into our daily lives, particularly for bariatric patients on a path toward significant weight loss. Taking gradual steps towards a more active lifestyle can lead to lasting improvements in your overall health, but it's essential to do so safely and with professional guidance.

At Atlanta Bariatrics, our team of experts is dedicated to supporting you every step of the way in your weight loss journey. From pre-surgery consultations and education to post-operative care and follow-up, we prioritize your well-being and success. 

Our team will provide personalized advice based on your specific health status, surgery outcomes, and recovery progress, and we'll guide you on when to start increasing your activity, how much to increase it by, and what types of activities are most appropriate for your current condition.

The Atlanta Bariatrics team is here to support you if you're considering bariatric surgery or have recently undergone the procedure. We understand the challenges of adjusting to a new lifestyle post-surgery and are here to guide you through each step, making moving more an exciting and achievable goal.

Our team of experienced professionals can guide you through the recovery process and help you develop a personalized plan that works for your unique needs. From providing nutrition education to offering exercise tips and support, we are dedicated to helping you achieve long-term success in your weight loss journey. Contact us today to learn more!

Ready to feel happier and healthier? Call (770) 232-9252 today to schedule your first consultation with the weight loss surgeons and specialists at Atlanta Bariatrics. We can’t wait to help you take the first step!

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