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Those who exercise regularly following weight-loss surgery not only lose more weight and keep it off longer — but are also happier and healthier. Learn how to develop an exercise plan that meets your needs and helps you achieve your weight-loss goals after bariatric surgery. 

The power of endorphins

There's no question that exercise has an effect on how you react to stress (whether it's physical or mental), because it alters your mood.  This mood altering affects your perception of the stress and ultimately allows you to perform better in handling that issues that may arise.

Your body loves things status quo — a resting state where every need is being met and there are no undue demands that might cause problems.  When you exercise, you essentially take the body out of its comfort zone, the "homeostasis" resting state.  The body responds by doing everything it can to bring things as closely back to normal as possible.

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Working it out

Nervous about joining a gym? It's possible to get past the workout woes and move towards fitness while you're considering or planning for weight-loss surgery.

We've all heard about the benefits of joining a gym: newfound or regained strength, wellness, confidence, and a head start towards the fit and healthy lifestyle we desire. But we know the real deal: it's a magical place where thin people go to stay that way and where we'll be gawked at, mocked, and basically ignored. Fitness be damned — those kinds of emotional scars don't easily fade.

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How much exercise do I have to do?

If any amount of exercise at any age is beneficial, and in general the more you do the greater the benefits, what the heck does "regular exercise" really mean?  More important, how much exercise is necessary for a WLS patient to best navigate weight loss and, ultimately, long-term maintenance?

Let's get it said and out of the way, the news you already know.  The National Academy of Sciences, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute of Health, even the Surgeon General all recommend we strive for an hour per day of physical activity, most and preferably every day of the week. Sound impossible?

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The benefits of regular exercise

Everybody talks about the importance of exercising.  It seems like a no-brainer, right?  Well yes, but what are the real, true, honest-to-goodness benefits you will see if you start and keep exercising regularly?

Let's start with the bottom line.  Your success as a gastric bypass patient is totally and completely determined by your ability to maintain permanent lifestyle changes.  This is the same for any diet and exercise program started for weight loss or improved health, and applies to everyone seeking those benefits, whether or not they've had bariatric surgery.

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Weight loss surgery recovery made easier: bariatric yoga

Post-operative yoga that uses simple but effective moving exercises and breath work can help WLS patients recover after surgery.

Dr. Matthew Cook, a physician and former yoga instructor, came up with the idea of using yoga to help Lap-Band surgery patients while coordinating a weight-loss surgery recovery program. The simple exercises are something  most bariatric, WLS patients can do even immediately after surgery to help themselves feel better and to restore proper respiratory function following the lung compression that occurs while under anesthesia.

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