Monday, January 16, 2012

Rock that Body~the benefits of Exercise

Let's face it~there aren't many of us that started off our weight loss journey saying, "oh yeah, I can't wait to exercise!" If you did I say kudos to you! But me~hell no! I did a bit of walking but didn't feel comfortable doing much of anything til I had dropped my first 50lbs. And let me tell you waiting til I was "comfortable" is one of my biggest regrets.

So why is exercise so important after bariatric surgery? Before I answer that I have a question for you. Did you really have a procedure to alter your body and think you only had to commit to half of the process? Exercise and moving your body is a significant portion of the overall process and here is why
  • When you lose weight quickly you lose muscle. Muscle gauges and controls your metabolism!
  • Exercise boosts your metabolism! #1 reason to exercise!
Exercise is critically important since your body's natural tendency is to slow down your metabolism when you lose weight. By continuing to exercise and keep your metabolism higher you body will burn calories at a faster rate even while your body is at rest! Who doesn't want to be burning some calories while they watch their favorite tv show or even while they sleep!? Are you convinced yet ? No huh?

Other benefits of exercise include:
  • Increased immunity
  • Increased flexibility, strength and balance.
  • Decrease of stress and depression
  • Improved heart health including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Reduces risk of breast and colon cancer.
  • Reduces risk of diabetes.
And if you are like many bariatric patients you either experienced some of the above adversely or have family members who did/do. So you ready to get started yet?

The key to starting a good exercise plan is:
  1. Begin slowly-walking is the best activity you can begin with and work your way up. This is especially good for those who have been sedentary for a prolonged period.
  2. Set realistic goals for yourself. No one is asking you to go out tomorrow and run a 5K. If you walked 20 minutes today, try 25 tomorrow and so on. By the end of the week asses those goals and make new ones.
  3. Reward yourself! And I don't mean with a trip to Froyo (oops I said that out loud! Sorry I was speaking more or less to myself there!) If you can consistently workout for one month-go get yourself a massage or a mani/pedi or new walking shoes.
  4. Stay Healthy. Muscles you've never used will be sore. Deal with it! But pain is not acceptable. Stop what you are doing and consult a physician if you feel pain in your joints or ankles.
  5. Keep hydrated. As a WLS patient you always have a water bottle near. Drink it. It is especially important before, during and after. You need to remember to replace the fluid you lost by sweating.
  6. What's the first rule of Bariatric Surgery? PROTEIN first! Make sure you get the recommended amount in to help build muscles and keep your energy levels higher.
As I said previously I started working out ONLY (oh how I detest this word) after I lost my first 50lbs. And the world of fitness classes opened up my eyes to all that was possible. Hello Zumba and Muscleworks. My advice to you is find something you love to do! I became so addicted to Zumba I would drive all over town to find classes to attend. At one point I was going 5 days a week! Excessive? Maybe but it got my body moving! Remember that the "rules" state, 30 minutes a day or 210 a week? A one hour class 4x a week brings you well over your 210 a week!

There are many "superstars" in the WLS community and they all have one thing in common~THEY EXERCISE and move their bodies well over 30 minutes a day and 210 a week. They are consistent with their workouts and they make their workouts and themselves a priority. Someone once commented to me "yeah but they are all runners!" Not true! One of those "superstars" lost 112lbs in less then one year shaking and shimmying in Zumba. She found her passion and made it work for her. The same as the ones that run. They are passionate about what they do! Period end of story!

So here is my overall advice:
  1. Move you body!
  2. Properly fuel your body!
  3. Find an exercise that you love and makes you happy!
  4. Push yourself out of your comfort zone! Challenge yourself often!
  5. Change your routine often for proper muscle confusion. Every 6-8 weeks is appropriate.
  6. Set goals both big & small.
  7. Reward yourself! A new pair of shoes-new exercise dvd-new dumbbells, etc.

    She started over 400lbs~she never gave up and is down 120lbs in 7months! She may not come in first place but she sure as hell is lapping everyone who's ass is firmly still placed on the couch!
    Some run, some walk! The point is that we move our butts even in 25 degree cold weather!
    Frozen Buns Run - St. Louis, January 2012
    Santa Dash 5K - St. Charles, MO, December 2011
    Temps that morning - 17 degrees!
    Jingle Bell 5K - November 2011
    Walk from Obesity 5k~October 2011, St. Charles, MO
    Familes Roc for Ovarian Cancer 5K - September 2011, Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

No matter what you do~enjoy it and make it rain sweat!


  1. I'm moving my body "every damn day"~ thanks for the motivation to get going and do this thing for real Pam!


  2. you know what----i may have to go back and let zumba kick my ass-- it has been years since i dared go in there---lol

  3. Hi! :) Why did I only just find your blog? I agree, exercise is soooo important! :)