Health & fitness for bariatric patients

Johann Erasmus - Trainer from COREFIT

Congratulations on taking the first step to lose the weight that has held you back for so long.

Bariatric surgery is a very effective way to lose weight but in order to achieve the best outcome you will also need to follow a healthy diet and take part in regular exercise which includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises.

Getting the advice and guidance from an exercise professional is strongly recommended during the early stages.

Research has shown us that patients who exercise after weight your surgery saw their Body Max Index (BMI) drop by 4-5% more than those who do not exercise.

When patients lose weight rapidly after bariatric surgery, they also run the risk of losing lean muscle mass. In order to avoid this, patients need to engage in a regular strength training program which includes body weight as well as light resistance exercises.


Right after surgery:

The first week or two after surgery it is important to take it slow. Walking for 15 minutes at a time is a safe but effective way to start. Avoid any lifting, jumping or impact exercises or anything that puts unnecessary strain on your core area.

4 Weeks post-surgery:

The duration and intensity of your workouts should start to increase at this point. This is generally a time when strength training is added to your workouts. Squats, push-ups and step ups are all great exercises to strengthen the muscles that will help you maintain your muscle mass. Keep the repetitions between 12 and 20.

6-8 weeks post-surgery:

By now you will be able to increase the intensity of your workouts. Squats with weight and other lifting exercises in combination with short periods of cardio can now be included in your workouts.

This is a great period to start building muscle that will help you to burn fat even quicker!

Let’s look at the difference between cardiovascular exercise and strength training.


Cardiovascular exercise:

Cardiovascular exercises include cycling, walking, swimming and stationary rowing. Cardiovascular exercise helps us to feel fit and it is extra useful if you combine this with strength training exercises. Aim to do between 15 and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercises per day in the first four weeks.

Strength training exercises:

Strength training is extremely important for bariatric patients. It helps us maintain muscle mass which helps us burn calories and fat at a much faster rate. Strength training also helps our joints, posture and our general strength. It is important to start with light weights and gradually increase the weight. Exercises like squats, lunges, step ups, push-ups and bicep curls are all examples of good strength training exercises.

To conclude:

Include exercise in your daily routine even if it just 20 or 30 minutes per day. It is important to remember to do the exercises correctly and to enjoy the type of exercise that you choose.


“What seems impossible today, will soon just be your warm up!”


Article by Johann Erasmus (Corefit)

Read more about Johann here:

Brisbane Weight Loss Surgery

Scheduling an appointment is an important first step towards sustainable weight loss and a healthier, brighter future.

Request an Appointment