Walking from Obesity
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise that most bariatric patients can do before, and especially after weight loss surgery. Walking may be difficult before bariatric surgery and you may not be able to go far at first. Be assured that you will get stronger and that you will surprise yourself by what you will be able to accomplish. We encourage all persons who are considering weight loss surgery to start walking daily. After surgery, walking is often the first form of exercise that most patients do on a daily basis. How do you take the first step?
Don the gear.
Pick sun hats and rain jackets that are breathable to keep you comfortable. Ensure that you are wearing comfortable and supportive walking shoes. Wearing shoes like flip-flops or ill-fitting shoes can cause injury to feet and ankles and cause leg and back pain. If you have pain in your feet, consult a podiatrist to help you put your best foot forward and enable you to enjoy walking.
Plan your route.
At first, you may just be walking to your mailbox, but soon you will be able to venture further. As a beginner, chose paths that are paved and that are well lit (if walking in the evening or early morning) to prevent injuries. Most municipalities now have public walking paths with benches to rest. As you become more experienced, you may enjoy exploring the state parks.
It may not seem that walking is strenuous, but you will work up a sweat and will need to keep hydrated. No need for sports drinks – water is best.
Get in the rhythm.
Invest in a digital music player and put on some tunes that get you moving. The faster the beat of the music, the faster you will walk. Sing and walk along: “These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do….”
Schedule your walks.
Put in on your calendar. If it is not on your schedule, you will not do it. You would not let your child miss his soccer practice, would you? Well, then you should certainly not let your walking time slip by either.
Walk with a buddy.
There is something to be said for accountability. If you promise to meet a friend for a walk, you are sure to keep your promise. Involve friends and family to join you on your walk. Or, if you prefer the four legged variety, take your dog (or a friend’s dog) with you. You can also meet the Griffin Bariatrics Walking Group by contacting Kim Fisher, Bariatric Care Specialist.
Walk for a cause.
Nothing feels better than walking for a cause. After Labor Day, you have weekly walks for a cause to choose from. Consider walking in the Walk from Obesity benefitting the Obesity Action Coalition. Tom Kavanaugh, Griffin Bariatrics’ Exercise Physiologist, has started a Griffin Bariatrics team for the Walk from Obesity on September 22, 2012 in Connecticut. http://walkfromobesity.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=5405
This is a great way to meet new friends, get involved and get walking!
To learn more about bariatric surgery and the extensive support services provided by Griffin Bariatrics, please register for a free informational seminar.
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