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Exercise with a gastric balloon?



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Hey all! I'm a week in with my balloon today and 10lb down (and that's not including what I lost on the shakes prior to surgery) though I do fret it's too much too soon and can't be good for me...

I've been thinking a bit more about getting off the sofa and getting moving, I go back to work in a few days but I'm feeling mostly okay these days. On day four I got ambitious (and a little stir crazy) and went for a walk. It was roughly about a mile round trip, taken at a snail's pace and by the end I had the sweats and cramps and ended up needing an epic nap afterward. Yesterday I cleaned the house in a fairly energetic manner (read: loud music and more dancing than cleaning). Today I'm feeling ambitious again and I think I'll head to the gym for a low-intensity session on the cross trainer or treadmill.

I am a little concerned about a couple things, first, I do get dizzy quite a bit. I have Stemazine to counteract that but I think it's truly just because I'm still not really making it over 700cal a day. Second, while I have yet to experience any reflux/heartburn and am religiously taking my prescription for that anyway, I'm sort of worried about aggravating that.

What are your experiences? Does exercise zap your energy? Does it aggravate the reflux? What about drinking Water while exercising?

Prior to placement I've led a very active life (too bad I couldn't stay away from the food!) and my real aim is to get back to a Krav Maga class that I attend 3x a week. But I stress that the push-ups, sit-up and general up/down nature of the class might test the balloon. I imagine anything where I have to sort of hold a plank or lower position might make me uncomfortable or nauseous. Is anyone able to shed light on this?

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@@Sailor Doom - glad to hear you're doing so well! I think, just like with food, it makes sense to ease into activity, especially when your calories are so low. It's not surprising that you're getting dizzy, and I think it's a fair assumption that activity would make it worse.

I, unfortunately, am struggling with activity. Not because I can't do it, but because I'm having a hard time getting motivated. :-/ (That may explain my plateau!) I actually feel pretty good, but so far all I have done is yoga and walking. I am fine with those, but am confident that I am capable of more. However, please note that it took me 2-4 weeks before I felt capable of pushing myself hard physically like I had previously (and I have heard other people say it took even longer).

I know someone who returned to the gym two weeks post-balloon insertion and while he felt fine, he said it was uncomfortable to run. I could see that as I still very much felt the balloon for the first four weeks, and something as jarring as running would have been uncomfortable at best (and may have even made me nauseous).

FWIW I have had NO trouble with reflux, which surprises me because I have a hiatal hernia. I does not matter what or when I eat, how soon I sleep after eating, whether or not I sleep elevated, etc.. I also have not had trouble with it when I walk or do yoga. For that reason I don't suspect that it will be an issue when I exercise vigorously (famous last words). In fact, I am half tempted to stop taking the second dose of PPIs each day ... but that just may be a little crazy. ;-)

I have never heard of Krav Maga but I'm intrigued! I googled it after I read your post - there's actually a studio near me. Please tell me more! What's it like? How hard is it? What do you love and hate about it? Is it hard on bad knees or backs? I must confess, I am tempted to check it out ... but I also don't want to make a fool out of myself - lol!! :-) Thanks!!

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@@Wayward Traveler Hey! Thanks for the reply, I have ventured to the gym twice. The first day was just 40 minutes on the treadmill, I found medium incline and a moderate walking pace was my best bet. I definitely feel like running is a little far off, I get the feeling that the jarring motion would make the balloon... uncomfortable? I can't say I feel it specifically in my stomach, but I'm aware of the weight of it and it can move a bit. For instance, if I'm in bed and I roll onto my right side to turn off a lamp or grab my phone I can feel the balloon sort of bear down on the remainder of my stomach. It's not painful by any means, but certainly peculiar and unpleasant. I think if I were to run any great distance/duration I might get the same sensation in an up/down kind of way (I'm trying to avoid saying the balloon would 'bounce' because I feel it's pretty secure in situ, but it would definitely maybe push as I move up and down). So running, short term, maybe for a warm up or something I think would be fine, but not as a complete form of exercise. At least not for me after only one week.

Today I tried my hand at the cross trainer, basically fine, though I did get a little... er, fullness (?) around the diaphragm (not heartburn, but like something was sitting low in my chest?) when I started to get a bit too high intensity, I think it was the twisting through the torso that caused that. I calmed it down by shifting my hands from the long moving grips to the short, stationary ones for a minutes or so, so that I twisted a little less.

So, anyway, I was pretty happy with the outcome.

Now, Krav Maga! Oh my goodness I love it! I started it last year and I have zero regrets. Not only is it a great workout, but its a useful skill to have under your belt. The practice I go to is for people 18 and above and it's pretty serious about what it does, but that works for me because no one is there to waste time. For my first class I rocked up feeling like I'd be this loser 30 YO woman, far too overweight and surrounded by hotheaded dudebros tripping on testosterone. I persevered only because I had watched a doco years ago about Krav Maga and had promised myself I'd investigate when I moved to an area that had a class.

Anyway, so I was expecting some sort of quasi UFC thing: not at all what happened. People there came from so many different backgrounds and fitness levels. Young women, older women, fit guys, unfit guys... you get the point, all different and all there just to learn.

The class is essentially at whatever difficultly level you require, if you're a beginner there's a grade for that and other students to work with, I progress when I am ready. Some people pick it up quickly and some don't and that's fine. You stay at your level until you are confident to move on. It also isn't really a 'martial art' as much as it is a system of self protection. You won't see people competing for belts (or at all, though there is a grading system) because in Krav Maga the best fight is the one you see coming and can avoid altogether (or with a swift knee to the groin).

The warm up is typical of any fitness class, jogging in a circle, a few push ups (on your knees if you need to), sit ups, stretches. Then usually it's about learning new techniques then consolidating them with a partner and protective pads.

The part that I found most challenging when I began (and still struggle with) is the confrontational nature of it. I'm not sure why (because it seems obvious in hindsight) but I was shocked in my first class to realise actual people would be attacking me (in a controlled and force-appropriate way, no one was trying to beat me or anything). I think the first thing we drilled what getting out of a front-on chokehold so there I was with a stranger trying to choke me. I learned very quickly that I freeze and panic in aggressive situations, but now that months have passed and I'm slowly teaching myself to have more reactive and useful responses to stress (not just in terms of physical violence, but in very useful situations like unexpected traffic panics, dropping things etc). So the thing that I hated about the class at first is actually the cause for one of the things I love about the class: I haven't just gotten fitter, I've become more situationally aware and better at handling pressure.

As for backs and knees, my class is about working with what you've got, so if you're older or have injuries you learn to compensate and work with what you can do. Plus I'm sure you'd be able to opt out of any drills that cause pain.

I'm sure all classes and teachers vary a bit. My class is affiliated with Krav Maga Global, and I know they are everywhere but it can't hurt to get in touch with the people near you and see if you can get in on an info session or beginners class.

In my experience if you actually like what you're doing it won't feel so much like having to work out. For me, Krav Maga gives me those few nights a week that I can look forward to and work on myself, that fact that there's an element of fitness is just a bonus. I am so vey keen to get back to class and I'm aiming for the first week of June.

@@flamingfeather_fly The balloon is a Fluid filled orb placed in the stomach to inhibit appetite and limit space. I have an Orbera but if you'd like to know more I'd suggest looking at Google.

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@@Sailor Doom - Guess what I tried the other day? :-) I will give you a hint - my beau and I went together and I almost wondered why I asked him if he wanted to give it a shot in the first place - lol! He spent the evening smacking me on the arm, putting me in choke holds and jumping me from behind - yikes!! (I think it is the most fun that he's had exercising in a long time. :-D) We have two more classes in our intro package before we render a verdict, but so far so good. In the meantime, I'm still going to yoga and am restarting Pilates. So I'm getting back into the swing of things and will keep augmenting my plan in an attempt to optimize my activity. hopefully my body - and the scale - will thank me for it. ;-)

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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@@Wayward Traveler That's awesome! Glad that you felt like tryinjg it!

I know it took me a couple weeks to get past the whole 'Yikes, you want me to do what?!' stage, even now I have some moments where I feel a little confronted (though I suppose that is the whole point). But I honestly love it and have missed it this past couple weeks.

I have a fancy weekend away in Sydney for my birthday this weekend (off to see Dita Von Teese!!!) and then I'm back to my classes and I cannot wait!!!

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