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Is Exercise Just for Weight Loss?

Is Exercise Just for Weight Loss?
Is Exercise Just for Weight Loss?

Is Exercise Just for Weight Loss?Many people think of exercise as just a way to promote weight loss. So if they are a normal weight they might not think they should exercise.

But science does not agree.

Exercise is recommended for nearly every healthy person. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends “adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.” Older adults are encouraged to “do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.” If older adults are not able to meet the 150-minute guideline, they are encouraged to “be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.”

These guidelines are for all healthy adults, not just for adults who are overweight or obese. Exercise is important for our heart health, our balance, our blood flow, brain function, muscle and bone health, and so much more.

One study recently published in the American Journal of Cardiology looked at weight, health, and cardiovascular risk. They found that 30% of sedentary adults with a normal weight had the same risk of a heart attack or stroke as people who are overweight. They also found that among adults with a normal BMI (18.5 to 24.9), those who exercised less than the recommended amount had more abdominal fat, had greater shortness of breath upon exertion, and a higher waist circumference compared to those who exercised.

Exercise is important not just for weight loss, but for a healthy life. Bariatric patients are encouraged to exercise (after they have been cleared by Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA or their bariatric surgeon) to promote weight loss. They are also encouraged to exercise regularly once they have met their weight goal. Walking can make a great first exercise after surgery, but weight loss surgery patients are encouraged to find the exercise that works best for them. For some ideas, check out some of Dr. Shillingford’s blogs on fitness and exercise and bariatric surgery