Losing weight after weight loss surgery is quite exciting. To see the weight finally coming off, wear smaller clothing, and be able to move through life with more ease are some of the things that put a smile on the face of many patients here at the Weight Center.
Those markers of success do not however tell you what you are losing. Over time what does show up is a loss of bone mass in people who have weight loss surgery. We all know the loss of bone can lead to a fracture which really puts a damper on life. Maintaining bone is not just about your body, its about your lifestyle and ability to enjoy life.
An encouraging study was just published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism that concludes “exercise should be incorporated into post-op care of bariatric patients…to mitigate the adverse effects of the surgery on bone mass”.
They came to this conclusion because the folks in the study who did exercise three times for six months consisting of 30 – 60 minutes moderate intensity cardio (walking) and three sets of 8-12 repetitions of seven strength training exercises were able to maintain bone mass. The people in the ‘usual care’ group lost bone mass.
What the study does not tell us is if this is the amount of exercise you need to maintain bone mass after weight loss surgery. Could you get away with less? Maybe. What we do know from many other studies is that walking or cardio is just not enough. Strength training is needed to maintain bone. So if you have had, or plan on having weight loss surgery, plan on making strength training part of your post surgery routine.
One thing is for sure, exercise gives you something weight loss cannot – stronger bones and thus a better chance of staying active for a long time.
Keep Moving, Be Well,