The Exercise Gameplan
Now that Spring is here, we’re finally are able stretch our legs, rise from our hibernation, and venture outside into the modestly warm weather. The significance of this change is meaningful in many ways, depending on who you talk to. For bariatric patients, this means that the excuse of using cold weather to not go outside and walk, will be coming to a close! As of March 10th, sunlight is lingering around for several more hours. Thus, exercise before and /or after work is more reasonable with the extra hours.
As you learned in nutrition class, exercise is a vital component to your weight loss journey. Remember bariatric surgery is just a tool! So whether you are pre or post-surgery, you should/or should have started to make small goals in order to reach 150 minutes/week (5 days/week for 30 minutes), the encouraged minimum for weight loss maintenance. Establishing small goals now, will in time turn into life-long healthy habits. Also, whether you are now just beginning your exercise journey, or improving upon the one you’ve started, the type, duration, and intensity will differ from your peers. No two people are the same, meaning a single exercise routine is not a one-time fit all affair.
Starting any exercise routine can be terrifying and your nerves may get the best of you. For example, when you walk into the a gym for the first time, you will be faced with odd contraptions that you will have to maneuver in strange ways, an area with individuals huffing and puffing in the free weight section, and a glimpse of select few muscular men/women who lift one weight and spend the rest of the time taking selfies. Best way to describe it, a sweaty jungle! Don’t let this scare you. These people in the gym stood in your same shoes and shared similar nerve wracking emotions.
The best way to tackle your nerves and bewilderment is by comprising a game plan. First, figure out a type of exercise you enjoy and that best suits your lifestyle. The goal of purposeful exercise is to get your heart rate up and sustain it throughout the duration of your workout. So whether you go the traditional or untraditional route in type of exercise, just get that heart rate up! Second, make SMART goals (specific, measurable, realistic, has a timeframe). Start with accomplishing a routine that is realistic right now, and build. Remember, even if it’s 5 minutes for 2x/week, you are still lapping everyone on the couch, and you are on your way to reaching the 150 minutes/week. If you are limited by finance, medical or physical reasons consider home exercises or look online for workout videos. Lastly, challenge yourself. Little do you know, you have more will and discipline than you thought. It is time to tell those negative Nancy or Debbie downer thoughts to wash away! Set benchmarks or future goals; such as, walking the streets of Venice without being short of breathe. This will help you stay on track and provide encouragement when times get rough. Also, do not forget to reward yourself; with non-food related goodies! As cheesy as it sounds, the saying “Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it,” but it is 100% true.
So get up, get out, and get moving!