You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: exercise is an essential element of weight loss. Before weight loss surgery, you may not have made exercise a significant part of your life, but it will become indispensable now that you’re focused on improving your health.
Though your workout options will widen as you continue to improve your fitness, you may at first have physical limitations that put strenuous workouts beyond your reach. High-impact activities, or those that require running and jumping, can put your muscles and delicate joints at high risk of injury, which can dramatically set back your progress towards your goals. This makes low-impact exercises the most practical after weight loss surgery, and few are as accessible as walking.
Most people walk every day, but we may not think of it as a workout. If your weight loss surgeon has recommended walking as a starting point for your exercise routine, it will help to learn a bit more about the many health benefits that a good walk can provide.
In addition to helping you burn calories, walking after weight loss surgery can help you by:
- Improving your cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that walking regularly can help you control high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which will reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Reinforcing your joints and bones. Walking’s low-impact nature will spare your joints from the stress of more strenuous workouts, but it can also improve your bone density and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
- Nurturing your mental health. Going for a walk is a great way to clear your head. Walking can help you reduce stress, improve your brain function and foster a more fulfilled emotional state.
Now that you know why going for a stroll can be so healthy, it’s time to set your walking workout in motion. Keep things challenging and interesting on your walks by:
- Picking pretty places. Spending time in nature can be relaxing, but it will also keep you interested. When you’re focused on the beautiful scenery around you, it makes it easier to forget that what you’re doing is actually a workout, and the allure of the great outdoors will keep you coming back for more.
- Mixing up the terrain. Walking can become a much bigger challenge, and therefore much more physically rewarding, when you do it somewhere other than flat ground. Pick a route with gentle hills and inclines to burn more calories and engage more muscles. The shifting, rugged terrain of a nearby trail will do you even more good.
Walking can be a boon for your health after weight loss surgery, and it can help you find some incredible places that you didn’t know existed, right in your backyard.