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before surgery and after surgery exercises from those of you that have lost over 100lb/45kgs



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I am interested in learning what exercises, intensity, routine, and time/reps people who have lost over 100lbs/45kg do. What did you do before surgery vs. after? Did you focus on cardio or strength? If you have loose skin have you seen any improvement that excise has contributed to?

Thank you for your feedback.

Edited by New To This23

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I've lost well over 100lbs but it was mostly as a result of sticking to the rules of my plan and just eating much less after my surgery. Exercise contributed very little. I really only started serious cardio once I had lost most of what I wanted to. I was very sedentary before my sleeve.

There are people here who have lost more than me - not sure how much they exercised and how much that contributed overall but hopefully they will let you know.

There are people who have lost less. Again not sure that's much to do with how much they exercised or what type of exercise they did.

I wish you all the best with your loss.

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before surgery, I mostly did Water aerobics and "rode" the stationary bikes at my gym. Two hundred pounds later, I still do those, but i also bike a lot, too, now - in fact, I bike four or five days a week except in the winter. I also do Zumba occasionally.

exercise isn't going to have much effect on your loose skin. You may get some more muscle definition if you do some strength training, but if you've got a lot of loose skin, it's not going to look A LOT better, even with that.

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I lost 42kg so just a little less than you asked for. I don’t enjoy exercising. Never have. Still don’t. Over the years before surgery I tried lots of things: walking, yoga (one I enjoyed most), aerobics, swimming, cycling, etc. They never helped me lose weight or maintain my weight so I really wasn’t all that surprised when I discovered exercise only contribute to about 10% of any weight you want to lose. Of course there are many other benefits to exercising but don’t rely on it to help with your weight loss.

Did I exercise during my weight loss? Nope. I just upped my everyday activities: parked further away from where I was going, walked up & down escalators & travelators, made multiple trips up & down my stairs (why carry groceries up in one trip when you can do it in two or three), etc. I still don’t exercise as such. I exercise snack at home by doing 5-10 minute sessions about 4 times a day of stretching & using resistance bands. I have loose skin (not a lot but enough) but my arms look more toned from using the bands - I just don’t wave my arms about.

Too many factors influence how much loose skin you’ll have. Age, genetics, how much weight you lose, how long you were at your higher weight, your weight loss & gain history, etc. You can’t stop it. Your skin has already been stretched. You may get a little snap back if you’re younger & still producing elastin. Think of your lose skin as a well used & over stretched hair band/elastic. Can’t fix that. As to exercising helping with it, your muscles lie under your skin & your skin drapes over the top. You’ll need a lot of muscle to fill your skin out. My thighs would have to be three or more inches larger to fill out my loose skin there but I don’t want large thighs again. Nor do I want a large butt again to fill out the loose skin there. Surgery is your only option if your lose skin bothers you, limits your movements or gets infections, rashes, etc.

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12 hours ago, New To This23 said:

I am interested in learning what exercises, intensity, routine, and time/reps people who have lost over 100lbs/45kg do. What did you do before surgery vs. after? Did you focus on cardio or strength? If you have loose skin have you seen any improvement that excise has contributed to?

Thank you for your feedback.

In answer to your question ........ I was a couch potato before my RNY back in last May last year. Walking past three houses was exhausting. So I rarely walked. So I began walking. Each week/month I went a little further and further. i can now walk 5 k easily. Walking is a great way to start to get fit.

Then I started to do a small amount of strength exercises. It only been the last month that I have done cardio. I walk, use a recumbent bike and use limited weights. For me the whole thing is just about getting fitter. I do feel fitter and happier in my body.

At my size I am going to have loose skin.

How much you exercise will be determined by what you want to achieve and how much you are prepared to do. Losing weight is one thing but in order to keep the weight off exercise will need to be part of your life long journey. I hope it all goes well for you.

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Prior to surgery, I was walking, but not consistently. I will walk one week, then stop for two, then start again etc. Once I decided to do the surgery, I do not recall trying to follow any exercise program.

I did not start walking until about 6 weeks post op, 2x a week. I was cleared by that time for strength training but still had some minor tingling in the big incision so was advised to do core exercises as I could handle them. I had all intentions to start a strength training program I had purchased end of January but did not start until March and have been following consistently. This consist of strength training with weights and resistance bands, 5x a week and depending on the week range from 30min to 45 min.

Loose skin depends on too many factors to determine. I was told by my doctor that anyone who is loosing over 100lbs will have loose skin, the severity will vary by those factors. I personally thought I will have more loose skin, but being 20lbs or so from goal, I feel like I only have in my arms and breast, the other areas are not that much and I feel like by building muscle they will look a little better.

Note that if you do decide to start adding strength training to your exercise routine, the number on scale will be different as you are gaining muscle and loosing inches. Some people have a hard time with that. I personally have shifted my focus to body composition instead of the number on the scale since I'm 8 months post op and reached my original goal weight.

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My weight and other related illnesses made me so disabled, that hoovering a room was my exercise for the day. Vegetables were chopped sitting down. My life was indoors.

After I lost about 70lbs and summer came to my part of the world, I started walking. It was so hard to gain enough stamina to walk into our small market town but I eventually did it. I am not allowed to drive anymore due to bad vision so I walk everywhere and anywhere. I volunteer in a charity store and go on day long shopping trips with friends. I still find it amazing that I can do so many things again.

I knew I would get loose skin. My age was always against me. After menopause all the elasticity in my skin disappeared.

My problem now is that I have masses of loose skin. I look great with clothes on but look shocking butt naked. I really want to go back to the pool which I loved pre covid but hate the idea of showing this new body now. I am sure the skin holds me back more than the 150lbs ever did ! If I had the money to have all the skin surgeries then I would but as I can only afford arms I wonder if its worth bothering.

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3 hours ago, NP_WIP said:

Note that if you do decide to start adding strength training to your exercise routine, the number on scale will be different as you are gaining muscle and loosing inches. Some people have a hard time with that. I personally have shifted my focus to body composition instead of the number on the scale since I'm 8 months post op and reached my original goal weight.

3 hours ago, NP_WIP said:

I started strength training back in October for 2 months before I entered the program. Personal issues and how I chose to handle them stopped my progress. I restarted weight lifting and swimming in March. I focused more on weights (6 days a week) and swam 2-3 days a week about 3 hours total.

I eventually dropped swimming, since I swim at a public facility and the kids are out of school, and for some reason overtake the indoor area instead of staying outside where the slides and Water features are. I have been lifting 6 days a week, at least an hour a day, I have greatly improved my strength, and I have been told I look slimmer, but I do not see it in my clothes or on the scale.

I am still waiting on my surgery date, my Insurance told me it will likely be in September, so I am trying to get as much off as I can beforehand, It has been great to become stronger but disheartening to see the scale barely move. On Friday I decided I would focus on cardio only for 2 weeks to see how that goes.

After surgery I was thinking I could get back into weights, I prefer doing that to the treadmill, stationary bike, recumbent bike, and elliptical. I plan to swim again once the kids are back in school.

I appreciate your comment as I have been having a hard time with not seeing the scale move. It upsets me a little that none of the medical professionals I have seen have suggested focusing more on cardio, just to get more weight off for now.

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1 hour ago, summerseeker said:

My problem now is that I have masses of loose skin. I look great with clothes on but look shocking butt naked. I really want to go back to the pool which I loved pre covid but hate the idea of showing this new body now. I am sure the skin holds me back more than the 150lbs ever did ! If I had the money to have all the skin surgeries then I would but as I can only afford arms I wonder if its worth bothering.

I hope you do not give up on swimming, there are so many different types of swimsuit styles out there. I personally wear a 3-piece, it has a sports bra-like top, then a tank that goes over the top, and a Capri pant for the bottom, I bought some additional swim shorts, but more often than not I wear the Capri pant. I got it from Amazon I would be more than happy to send you the link if or you might be able to use the search terms "three-piece adult swimsuit"

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im almost 5 years out and lost 115-120 lbs (depending on the day, lol)

pre-surgery, i was only slighty active...not because i didn't want to be, but because i tired out easily. i would do fun cardio-intensive activities every once in while, but wouldn't last long, and would take a few days to recover.

immediately post-surgery i did a couple laps of walking the hospital halls, once home, forced myself to walk around my kitchen island several times a day. graduated to walking around the block a few times a day, to walking several times at once around that block, to walking around that block for at least an hour, often times much more. by 5-6 months post op, i was RUNNING around the block and neighborhood for min 5km sometimes more 5-6 times a week.

i also started exploring other things to do around 3 months post. i tried hot yoga, tap, zumba, bouldering, salsa, weight training. only yoga and zumba stuck.

i did force myself to do some sort of strength training 4-5 times a week (body weight only) because i hate strength training but i also know it does wonders for how one body LOOKS.

i was pretty religious about all this exercise for about 2.5 years.

then i hurt my foot which sidelined me for 2-3 months and i didn't go back to my regularity of exercise since. i probably only run a 5k twice a week now.

i do notice the difference in how my body looks now vs then. i was much firmer then and also had more energy. my arms are a faded memory of their once awesome glory lol.

i keep telling myself to pick it up but alas im super lazy. its way hard to start up again once u stop, so my advise here would be: dont stop!

as others have alluded to above, exercise isn't really a main factor in weight loss, it more for health and "body presentation" lol. u mean i weigh pretty much the same as i did in my exercise heyday, but i dont look nearly as good (body wise).

another piece of advice i would dole out here is find something u actually like to di, as u have a better chance of doing it long term.

good luck! ❤️

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1 hour ago, New To This23 said:

I hope you do not give up on swimming, there are so many different types of swimsuit styles out there. I personally wear a 3-piece, it has a sports bra-like top, then a tank that goes over the top, and a Capri pant for the bottom, I bought some additional swim shorts, but more often than not I wear the Capri pant. I got it from Amazon I would be more than happy to send you the link if or you might be able to use the search terms "three-piece adult swimsuit"

I have found them, thank you for the idea. I will have to think about wearing those. Not too expensive either

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1 hour ago, summerseeker said:

I have found them, thank you for the idea. I will have to think about wearing those. Not too expensive either

Great!!! I am so glad you found them !! Some of them might be eligible for try before you buy, I think the first one I purchased I used "try before you buy". It is a great option if you are unsure of sizing and want to get a few sizes, or just simply want to try it first before you commit.

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7 hours ago, New To This23 said:

I hope you do not give up on swimming, there are so many different types of swimsuit styles out there. I personally wear a 3-piece, it has a sports bra-like top, then a tank that goes over the top, and a Capri pant for the bottom, I bought some additional swim shorts, but more often than not I wear the Capri pant. I got it from Amazon I would be more than happy to send you the link if or you might be able to use the search terms "three-piece adult swimsuit"

This is similar to what I wear to the pool. I'm pre-surgery and very self-conscious about how I look in a bathing suit. But I do aquatic therapy and it has been way more effective than land exercises! I wear a swim tank with an actual bra built into it and the capri pants along with Water shoes. I can't wear the layered tops because they float up during therapy but the snug tank works well! The pool I go to has water aerobics where people of all ages are wearing similar outfits. I've seen people of all shapes, sizes and weights and it has helped me be much less self conscious about my own body in the pool. And the water feels so good!!

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I love the outdoors, so hiking/backpacking and trail running are my main cardio exercises right now. I also strength train 2-4 times a week, depending on what routine I'm doing and what else I'm doing cardio-wise. Before surgery, I would have been pushing it to walk to the end of the block, so I mostly just didn't bother.

To me, I don't think of any of the activities I do strictly as something to help me lose or maintain weight. Honestly, fat loss mostly comes from the kitchen, Instead, I partake in these activities because I enjoy them, but perhaps even more importantly, they make me healthier and will hopefully lead to more time here on this planet.

Regarding loose skin, I have been able to "fill in" some of it on my arms and legs with muscle. I attribute this to my overall workout plan, not to any specific thing.

You didn't really ask, but I wanted to share a few additional things with you:

  • While as you've seen in this thread not everyone is active post-surgery, the data is clear on this: those bariatric surgery patients that partake in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity 5-6 days a week are significantly more likely to reach their goal weight and maintain their weight-loss long-term. That does not mean you can't be successful without exercise, but it does mean you can greatly tip the odds in your favor if you're active.
  • Both cardio and strength training are important. While cardiovascular exercise has obvious heart-health benefits (that's why it's called cardio after all), :) it also helps with your overall physical endurance and energy levels, so everything else you do physically just becomes a lot easier.
  • Strength training, in addition to helping you look and feel better physically also increases your metabolism so that you burn even more calories even at rest. It's hard to argue with the benefits of that on weight loss.
  • Strength training will have no direct effect on loose skin. As I implied above, what it can do is help fill out that loose skin with some muscle instead of fat. This is probably going to be more in the arms and legs than in your belly for obvious reasons. Keep in mind though that your ability to add muscle mass is highly impacted by age, genetics, epigenetics, diet and biological sex, among other things. My point is that while some people can "fill in" that lose skin by adding muscle mass, it's by no means assured or even realistic for most of us.
  • It's sometimes misleading to think of strength training as the only thing that builds muscle. Even just walking can help, depending of where you're starting from. Like all exercise, the key is continuing to progress. Once you stagnate, you'll stop improving your health.

In short, I highly recommend partaking in both cardio and strength training. If you need help knowing what to do, seek out the assistance of a reputable trainer.

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3 hours ago, SpartanMaker said:

It's sometimes misleading to think of strength training as the only thing that builds muscle. Even just walking can help, depending of where you're starting from.

^^Agree^^

I haven't lost 100 pounds yet but getting close and all I've done is stick to my diet plan and walk outside, I'm up to 2 miles a day. (6-7xs a week) Walking is considered weightbearing exercise and is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. And it's free. Pre-op I was completely sedentary and on disability.

When the weather turns colder, I'll start doing some weights in the gym. And possibly a rower to switch it up. Vary your routine otherwise your body adapts, and your gains will slow down. At least till you reach maintenance.

And most importantly, find something you enjoy doing or you won't stick with it. GL!!

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