Exercise and diet are two critical components of achieving long-term weight loss. How quickly you drop the pounds after weight loss surgery depends on how well you adhere to your bariatric diet and workout routine. However, several pervasive exercise and fitness myths can slow your progress. Debunking these misconceptions can help you work out more efficiently and expedite your weight loss.
Myth 1: You Can Prevent Injuries by Stretching
You may think you’re loosening up your muscles and prepping them for your upcoming workout by stretching first. However, static stretching involves lengthening the muscle as far as it can go without discomfort and holding it for 20-30 seconds. It does nothing to effectively prep muscles or reduce the likelihood of tears, pulls, and other exercise-related injuries. Instead, focus on warm-up exercises to improve the blood flow to your muscles.
Myth 2: Muscle and Fat Are Transmutable
You can build lean muscle and burn excess fat, but it’s impossible for fat to become muscle and vice versa. They’re two different types of tissue, and working out doesn’t convert one into the other. Your body burns fat by using the energy stored in fat cells to fuel your workouts. It grows muscle by repairing the muscle fibers after an intense workout.
Myth 3: The Cardio Machine Calorie Burn is Accurate
Treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and other cardio fitness machines often provide an estimated number of calories burned after a workout. You may think this number is fairly accurate, particularly if you input your heath stats before the workout. While the machine can provide an estimate based on your height, weight, and age, it isn’t accurately tracking your heart rate. A strenuous workout for you may not be so challenging for another individual, even if they have a similar build. Most cardio machines drastically overestimate the calories burned. Investing in a heart rate monitor will yield much more reliable results.
Myth 4: More Cardio Burns More Fat
Cardio is an effective method to lose weight, but logging several hours on a treadmill won’t necessarily make the weight come off faster. It’s true that the average cardio workout can burn an impressive number of calories. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t discriminate on what it burns and eats through both muscle and fat tissues. A blend of cardio and weight training is your best bet, as you get the calorie burn from cardio while sustaining and improving your lean muscle with strength training. Lean muscle also provides an extra calorie burn, as the body needs more energy to repair muscle tissue after a workout.
Myth 5: Cardio Should Come Before Strength Training
People tend to either love or hate cardio. The result tends to be the same—they want to start with cardio first. Those who hate it want to get it out of the way, while those who love it want to get started right away. However, outside of a few caveats, it’s best to leave the cardio for last. Cardio depletes your stored energy, leaving you with less fuel for strength training. Decreased energy reserves produce a weaker workout and an increased potential for injuries. Of course, you can also opt to do cardio and strength training workouts on different days.
Exercise is important for your overall health and continued weight loss after bariatric surgery. Your surgeon can provide guidelines on how to start exercising after your surgery and when you can increase the intensity of your workouts. Contact us to learn more about the health benefits of weight loss surgery.