Exercise is one of the key components of your post-operative gastric sleeve journey toward a healthier life; after all, the saying goes: “Your pouch can only work as hard as you do.” It can be so easy to ditch your fitness routine and hibernate once the temperature starts dropping and the days get shorter — especially if you prefer to exercise outdoors. However, staying indoors and reducing your activity levels due to the cold weather may have unintended health consequences. Exercise is good for both body and mind regardless of the time of year, but may be particularly beneficial in helping to prevent the winter blues and boost energy levels during the colder months. If you struggle to stay active during the winter, especially after gastric sleeve surgery, check out these six simple tips below!
Tip #1: Layer Up
While getting active outside during winter may not be for everyone, it’s still beneficial to aim for some level of outdoor activity — even if only for the extra fresh air and sunlight! If you do choose to exercise outdoors, it is important to layer up; layering is an effective way to stay dry and warm while exercising. Choose a moisture-wicking base layer and a wind and water-resistant top layer.
Tip #2: Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important whenever you exercise, but especially once the temperature drops. During the colder months, it can be harder to detect when you are dehydrated. Because of this, it’s vital to drink water throughout your workout, even if you are not feeling thirsty. If exercising outdoors, try filling up a thermos with hot tea to drink rather than cold water.
Tip #3: Try Something New
Exercising outdoors during winter may sound appealing in theory, but actually getting out there is a different story. Winter is a great time to explore some creative and fun new ways to move your body outdoors. Trying a new activity such as skating, cross-country skiing, or snow-shoeing may prove more enjoyable for you than your standard gym session; a fun outdoor activity can really transform a workout into playtime!
Tip #4: Bring it Indoors
If exercising outdoors during the colder months does not sound enticing to you, bring your workout indoors! There are plenty of free videos available on YouTube if visiting a gym and/or trainer seem unappealing to you. Alternatively, many gyms and studios offer all sorts of fun exercise classes, some may even be offered virtually! Apps like ClassPass can be used to explore and book a wide variety of health and wellness classes ranging from yoga to barre to cycling to martial arts, allowing you to try out all sorts of fun new physical activities for the first time.
Tip #5: Mall Walking Programs
Did you know that some malls open early as part of a mall walking program? Mall-walking is one of the best and most assessable tips to stay active during winter after gastric sleeve. Bring a friend and you can even make it a social event!
Tip #6: Take the Stairs
Climbing stairs is a convenient and effective way to increase your activity levels. During winter, opt to take the stairs whenever possible, and if you have a little downtime either at home or at work, take that short period of time to climb up and down some stairs; even 5 minutes of climbing stairs is an effective workout.
Ready to start your weight loss journey? We can help. Our highly experienced Toronto gastric sleeve surgery specialists and knowledgeable care team are ready to support you — book your free consultation today.