If you’ve tried to lose weight and reached out for help in the past, you may have thought the advice you heard then about diet and exercise would be different now that you have had bariatric surgery. Now you are learning that after weight loss surgery, diet and exercise are as important as ever. But the idea of exercising on a regular basis can seem really overwhelming if you haven’t set foot in a gym in a very long time (or ever). Completing a workout video can also feel a little impossible if you’re significantly overweight and feel uncomfortable with complicated movements. For many people, the very reason they need to exercise more is what makes exercising difficult. What’s the answer?
Your body needs activity to stay healthy. In addition to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, regular movement keeps your muscles, joints, heart, blood vessels, and lungs working properly. Unfortunately, our technological advances over the last several decades have made moving our bodies almost completely unnecessary. We have labor-saving devices that allow us to live our entire lives without moving more than a finger or thumb on a keyboard. With so many reasons not to move, it’s no wonder our bodies are collectively getting larger and less healthy!
Again, we need to move more.
Exercising on a regular basis has become a common way for people to counteract the reduction of movement in everyday life. However, you don’t need to join a gym or buy workout clothes to lose weight and get healthier if you find ways to simply be more active on a regular basis. Instead of focusing on burning calories or “working out,” look for ways to simply move your arms and legs more often. A great way to find excuses to move is to think about the things in your life that are designed to make life more “convenient,” and ask yourself if using them less often will get you moving.
- Walk or ride your bike instead of driving short distances
- Permanently lose your remote control and get up to turn the channel on your TV
- Skip the valet and walk from the parking lot to the front door of businesses
- Always take the stairs instead of escalators, elevators, or moving sidewalks
- Prepare your meals yourself from fresh ingredients instead of ordering in (think chopping, walking around the kitchen, and walking around a grocery store or farmer’s market!)
These are just a few simple things you can do every day to move your body more. Instead of focusing on getting more exercise, work on becoming more aware of new opportunities for you to get moving every day.