After weight loss surgery, adding strength training to your exercise program can help you tone your muscles, improve your metabolism and burn fat faster. Once you learn the basics, weightlifting can be a rewarding and useful part of your workouts, providing many benefits that aerobic workouts cannot.
Here are six benefits of strength training:
- It prevents muscle and bone loss. Medical studies have repeatedly shown that exercises like weight lifting are helpful for protecting bone strength. Weight training also prevents muscular atrophy that often develops with age, and will prevent you from losing muscle as you lose fat after surgery.
- Increased muscle mass leads to a higher metabolism. Having a higher metabolism can help with long-term weight loss. More muscle mass leads to a higher basal metabolism, which is the natural rate of how fast the body burns calories to maintain its current state.
- It increases strength and tone. Strength training improves your strength and tones your muscles to accentuate a better physique as you lose weight.
- It makes you feel good—inside and out. Overtime, strength training leads to more confidence, better mood, and improved self-esteem.
- It gives you better body control and mechanics. Muscle-strengthening workouts help develop stabilizer muscles, improving your ability to do activities that require balance and coordination. It also helps with preventing and stabilizing falls.
- The health benefits are medically proven. Strength training can reduce the pain associated with arthritis, ease stiff muscles, and prevent bone fractures. The long-term effects of strength training may also help to prevent chronic disease such as hypertension and diabetes.
Adding Strength Training to Your Workout Plan
Just as you start out slow on a treadmill and work your way up to a faster pace, you can start strength training with light weights and gradually build your endurance and muscle.
Light hand weights are great for beginners. After your bariatric surgeon clears you to begin working out, you can start lifting small dumbbells to learn proper movement before increasing the amount of weight you are lifting.
Once your body has time to heal and your weight loss surgeon has cleared you for physical activity, strength training is one form of exercise that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have any further questions about weight lifting after bariatric surgery, don't hesitate to ask us, or seek the advice of a personal trainer.