For many people, it’s been hard stay active while we’re at home. Many of us are still working from home and soon kids may be starting school from home. That can mean a lot of sitting down instead of the usual ‘running around’ we did before the pandemic made it safer to be at home.
For weight loss surgery patients, staying at home does not have to mean forgoing being active. With some creativity and reminders, we can find ways to sit less and move more even when we’re at home. When we are more active we burn more calories, which leads to greater weight loss. Plus, being more active can help prevent boredom and the unhealthy snacking that is often associated with being bored.
Dr. Shillingford’s office has rounded up 10 ideas for ways to sit less and move more:
- Start your day with exercise- It could be a walk, a workout video, a Zoom class, or strength training. But start your day with working up a sweat and getting your heart pumping.
- Walk while you talk- If phone calls are part of your job while you work from home, try walking around your house while you talk. Getting up from your chair and moving can help break up the monotony and help get some steps in.
- If you can’t walk, try squats- If you need to stay close to your work area and can’t walk around, you could try doing some squats while you talk. You may not want to get winded while you’re talking, but you could try holding the squatting position to engage your leg muscles in isometric exercise.
- Drink a lot of water- Bariatric patients should be consuming at least 64 ounces of water (or non-caloric drinks) after their gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery. Drinking adequate liquids should necessitate multiple trips to the bathroom.
- Choose the furthest bathroom- If you have more than one bathroom, opt to use the bathroom that is furthest from where you are.
- Lunges at lunchtime- Get in some activity while you’re preparing your lunch. If you’re waiting for water to boil or cooking something in the microwave, you can squeeze in some lunges, squats, or push-ups against your counter.
- Put your printer far away- If you need to print things for work or school, put your printer in a different room. This will mean you have to get up and walk around.
- Move your legs- If you have to sit for video-based meetings, you can still move your legs. Lift them up and down or keep them extended and flex and point your toes.
- Set a timer- Set a timer (try at least every 30 minutes if you’re working or 10-15 minutes if you’re not) to help remind yourself to get up. Sometimes we can lose track of time, but setting a timer can help ensure you will be up multiple times. Try to do something productive in those few minutes, then reset the time when you sit back down.
- Engage your muscles- Even if you can’t get up, try to engage your muscles. Stretch your arms or legs or engage and relax your abdominal muscles (try 30 reps at a time).
Exercise is really important for weight loss surgery patients. It helps you lose weight, burns calories, and builds lean muscle. Adding in a few extra steps in your day will not replace a good workout, but it can be a great addition. If you can fit exercise in the morning or middle of your day, try adding a workout in during the evening. It’s usually cooler outside in the evening than in the middle of the day, so it’s a good time to take a walk or bike ride, swim in your pool, or even play a round of basketball in your driveway or on a lighted neighborhood court.
Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients are reminded to wait until their follow up appointment to be cleared to exercise and lift after their bariatric surgery. For more information about gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery with Dr. Shillingford, call his Boca Raton office today at (561) 483-8840. Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a board-certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery and proudly serves as Medical Director of Northwest Medical Center’s Center for Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, which is conveniently located for patients in Miami, Coral Springs, Parkland, Palm Beach, and Vero Beach.