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Step 9: Post-surgical exercise
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Exercise is a key component to any healthy lifestyle. Exercise can help you lose weight more quickly. It can help control some of the complications of obesity, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. Exercise is also a major mood lifter, a great way to increase energy, and will help strengthen your bones and muscles.

It is extremely important to get approval from your physician for your exercise program before or after surgery. If you haven't been exercising before your surgery, start slowly. Walking is a great form of exercise. If you have arthritis or bad knees, you might want to start by walking in a swimming pool. Walking in water will help support you until you gain strength and endurance. Start out with just 5 - 10 minutes, and increase your daily time until you are up to 45 - 60 minutes daily.

After surgery, you should avoid certain types of exercise. You can do aerobic exercise, such as walking, in the first month after surgery. You should NOT, however, do weightlifting or abdominal crunches. They might interfere with your surgery before you can heal. Talk to your health care provider before you start any exercise program.

Remember that your tolerance (and enjoyment) of exercise will increase as you build your stamina. So don't give up, even if the exercise is difficult at first. You should soon begin to reap its many benefits.


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Review Date: 12/16/2012
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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