5 Simple Movements to Start on the Road to Recovery after Weight Loss Surgery

Recovering from any surgery can be a slow and often intimidating process. When it comes to movement and exercise you may be wondering: What can I do? When do I start? How hard should I push? These are all questions that you may have after any surgery but even more importantly after bariatric weight loss surgery. The reason it is even more important is pretty simple ~ for you to have long term success in weight loss and weight management, you need to become more active for life!

See yourself as a mover by picturing yourself and your body in a new light

http://www.wellesse.com/bariatric.aspBecome a Mover Mentally and Physically

You need to actually see yourself as a mover; willing and able to take more steps than before surgery. About 50% of this transition will be physical and the other 50 will be physiological. 

Start by picturing yourself and your body in a whole new light. This lighter self needs to ‘float like a butterfly and sting like a bee’ when it comes to the fight against fat. The best way to do this is to float gently into your new self. Keep in mind that it is always best to consult with your physician and or physical therapist before starting any new fitness program; but with that said, some gentle breathing and mobility exercise may be a perfect gateway to a more aggressive program.

Mindful Breathing is Key

Begin with slow, deep breathing exercises to expand the lungs and ribcage and compress the abdominal volume. Then try adding this mindful breathing to a series of fluid joint movements, starting at the neck and leading all the way down the body to the ankles. Always be sure to keep your motions limited to a pain free range. Let’s break these moves down by joint.

Begin by standing with your feet hip width apart. If you are new to exercise or recently ambulatory from surgery, be sure to have a chair nearby to hold if you need it for balance.

  1. Neck:  slowly tilt your head side-to-side, then rotate right and left, then half circle downward from one collarbone to the next.  Try to do this with a deep inhale at the beginning of the move followed by a full exhale at the end of the move.
  2. Shoulders:  slowly circle the shoulders, up, back, down and around. Once again try to match your movement to you’re your full, deep breathing.
  3. Spine:  twist you body from the waist slowly from side to side, and then place your hands on your thighs and round your spine back and front.  Add the breathing
  4. Hips:  tilt you pelvis forward then back several times; then rock side to side several times. Use your breath as you move.
  5. Hips, Knees and Ankles: squat back with your hips, then stand back up, lifting up onto your toes. Let your arms flow with your movement; down and back as you sit back into the squat, forward and up as you rise up on your toes~inhale as you lift up, exhale as you sit back.

These five simple mobility moves will get your blood flowing, your joints lubricating and your mind engaging. Once you get comfortable with these basic joint motions you may want to move on to a more traditional Yoga, Pilates, or Tia Chi style workout. These different exercise forms have long been used to help people recover both their ability to move and stabilize their body with good form and technique.

The act of conscious movement can repair the body and help calm and relax the mind. Empowering you to move more gracefully and connect to your inner core strength.  Don’t forget to also supply your body with the proper nutrients during your recovery such as calcium and vitamin D3 for strong bones.  If you are experiencing joint pain, especially in the knees, try liquid glucosamine and chondroitin which helps maintain healthy movement of the joints.

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