Once you have started to lose weight, you’ll want to maintain or even continue your weight loss. After surgery, it’s important to ease into a regular exercise schedule that suits your lifestyle. Along with healthy eating and moderation, exercise can help keep the weight off and improve your health in many ways.
Exercise helps build lean muscle, which in turn helps burn calories and increases your metabolism. Diet alone won’t do it. If you combine exercising with a healthy diet, you’ll lose or maintain your weight in a way that also can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and offer some protection against certain types of cancers.
Exercise can also increase your sense of well-being and lower anxiety and depression. Aim for aerobic exercise (brisk walking, swimming, jogging, hiking, dancing, biking) three times a week for at least 20 minutes per session. If you don’t compensate with more food, that can lead to a slow but steady weight loss over time. Even if you are simply maintaining your weight, the exercise will increase your strength and stamina and improve your mood.
You can also go to a gym and/or use fitness machines at home. Just making a non-negotiable contract with yourself to exercise a certain number of days a week will get the ball rolling.
Take a yoga class. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride your bike to work or to run errands. Hike or exercise with friends. Walk outside in nature. But be sure to talk to your doctor first.
If exercise is not already a habit, you can make it one. Start with small, incremental improvements and don’t get discouraged. You can’t do it all at once, but making a small start will help get your metabolism going and point you toward your goal. The only way to get to day 500 is to start with day one.