Naturally, the more exercise you do, the better your weight loss results will be. To ensure that you don't strain your body, we recommend that you start with a graduated walking programme. It's the ideal exercise to start with as you can gradually build up the intensity as you become stronger and fitter, you don't need any special equipment and best of all, it's free to do! From week 2 onwards
, keep working on slowly increasing the amount of walking you do towards 10,000 steps a day. There is no upper limit and no correct level, as long as your distance slowly increases! You may also wish at this stage to start other activities: swimming, aerobics etc. are all good because they will work muscle, preserving lean mass and improving fitness. A good balance is 70% aerobic, fat burning (walking or easy swimming) and 30% strength (light resistance exercises such as weights).
The key thing with whatever exercise you do is that it has to be sustainable and fit with your lifestyle. It is much better to be able to do 3 x 30 minute exercise sessions every single week, than 5 x 1 hour sessions but not be able to keep it up because of pressures of work, family or other reasons.
Walking tips with example 12 week walking schedule
- Walk with your chin up and your shoulders held slightly back
- Wear suitable footwear, with good ankle support
- Walk so that the heel of your foot touches the ground first and roll your weight forward
- Walk with your toes pointed forward and swing your arms as you walk
|Week ||Warm up time |
|Brisk walk time |
|Cool down time |
| 1 ||Walk slowly 5 mins |
|Walk briskly 5 mins |
|Walk slowly 5 mins || 15 mins |
| 2 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 7 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 17 mins |
| 3 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 9 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 19 mins |
| 4 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 11 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 21mins |
| 5 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 13 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 23 mins |
| 6 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 15 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 25 mins |
| 7 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 18 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 28 mins |
| 8 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 20 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 30 mins |
| 9 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 23 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 33 mins |
| 10 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 26 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 36 mins |
| 11 ||Walk slowly 5 mins || Walk briskly 28 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 38 mins |
| 12 ||Walk slowly 5 mins ||Walk briskly 30 mins ||Walk slowly 5 mins || 40 mins |
For Week 13 and beyond, gradually increase your brisk walking time to 30-60 minutes four or five times per week
Frequently asked questions about exercise
How soon can I go swimming after my procedure?
As there are no wounds to heal, you are able to go swimming as soon after your procedure as you wish.
Are there any sports I should avoid?
It is possible to enjoy most sports after your procedure but if you engage in contact sports that may involve a blow to the abdomen eg rugby / martial arts or play sport professionally, please discuss with a bariatric nurse
Can I do tummy based exercises eg abdominal crunches / sit-ups?
Yes, in principle there is no issue in doing tummy exercises although you may feel the balloon in your stomach and you may find this uncomfortable. If this is the case, speak to a bariatric nurse for advice
I'm using an activity tracker - how many steps should I do?
Everyone, whether they have had a weight loss procedure or not, is encouraged to walk at least 10,000 steps per day. You may find this difficult at first but as you become fitter, stronger and more mobile, you can gradually build up to this as your goal. Of course, the more activity you can fit in, the better your weight loss will be so if you regularly reach 10,000 steps a day, challenge yourself to go for more!
I'm starting to feel nauseous after exercise. Is this normal?
As you become more active or begin to increase liquid intake, nausea and vomiting may occur. If this should happen, decrease your activities and drink small volumes of clear liquids.