Search for the Perfect Workout
Before having weight loss surgery, you most likely sat down with your Lap Band surgeon to discuss what the most realistic and attainable weight loss goals would be for your individual case. This discussion is an important aspect of your weight loss surgery experience, as no two people are the same and their goals and specific weight loss plans will vary accordingly. Just as your weight loss journey will differ from another’s, so will your perfect workout.
Several factors play into determining what makes the perfect workout for you. Fitness history, current state of weight loss, weight loss goals and more will dictate which exercises you should do and how often. Though it would take countless words to completely list out all the variations of exercise styles and equipment that can play into the perfect workout, there are six elements of a perfect workout that you can incorporate into your post-surgery fitness routine for optimum results.
Here are six elements that make up an ideal workout for weight loss.
- Warm up with some cardio. Before you begin any exercise, it helps to warm your body up with a short bout of cardio to help increase blood flow, raise muscle temperature and improve your mental focus for the best workout results. Try to warm up with at least two to 10 minutes of cardio by walking on the treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike or gliding on the elliptical. Make sure you begin with an easy pace and slightly increase the resistance, if possible, every 60 seconds or so for at least five minutes.
- Stretch your muscles dynamically. Dynamic stretching doesn’t involve those typical stretches of touching your toes or flexing your arms behind your head. Instead, dynamic stretching consists of swinging your arms actively and moving your muscles through a range of motion. Instead of regular, static stretches, try doing 10 arm circles and leg swings in all directions. Then do walking lunges and side shuffles for 10 yards, and finish with 15 to 25 jumping jacks. Don’t forget to engage in a short cardio warm-up first so your muscles are primed for stretching.
- Don’t ignore your tight muscles. Sometimes stretching alone isn’t enough to alleviate tight muscles, but a foam roller can help work out such knots. Foam rollers allow you to roll your body over a hard surface with even and steady pressure. There are many different ways to use a foam roller depending on where your tighter muscles are. Foam rollers are great for easing up tensed muscles, helping you to feel more limber. Look for one in your local sporting goods store or gym.
- Work out according to your goals. Not everyone’s fitness goals are the same. While some Lap Band patients may be eager to improve their walking or jogging skills, others may be more interested in building muscle. If enhanced weight loss is one of your fitness goals, speak with your weight loss surgeon about which specific exercises will help you most effectively obtain your goals.
- Allow for cool-down time after your workout. After a great workout, it’s smart to allow your body ample cool-down time instead of hopping directly into your car or sitting on the couch. Such activities cause blood to pool in your extremities, but a cool-down gives your blood sufficient time to re-circulate while avoiding dizziness or a fainting spell. Try walking for a few minutes at a slow but steady pace, or finish with a few yoga poses to help re-stretch your muscles as you cool off.
- Keep recovery in mind to reduce tiredness and muscle soreness. After any hard workout, you’ll want to focus on recovery to make your workouts more efficient. Make sure you stay hydrated after your workout as your cells will likely be depleted and your body will need to reload on fluids. To improve a muscle’s speed of recovery, focus on blood circulation. Improve blood flow after your workout by wearing compression garments, doing some light stretching or showering.
Though your workout style and preferences are unique to you, incorporating these six elements into your fitness routine will help speed recovery and produce the best results no matter the exercise. Make sure to speak with your weight loss surgeon for physical activity clearance before engaging in any strenuous workouts.