10,000 steps a day is your goal. The best way to achieve it to let the feedback that you get from your pedometer motivate you. Once you have developed a routine and habit, it will be much easier to see the results on the scale.

The best time to start a program is first thing in the morning. Put on your pedometer and start walking. We have included a journal at the end of this chapter for you to keep track of your daily steps. Many of you who think your job and your house will provide you with enough steps during the day, that you have a busy life. A pedometer is a great way to see that you may not be getting the exercise you need.

Again, listen to your body…

Beginning Program

Week Walks per
week
Distance
(in miles)
Warm-up time Minutes walking Cool Down time
1 3 .75 5 min 15 5 min
2 3 1.0 5 min 20 5 min
3 3 1.0 5 min 20 5 min
4 3 – 4 1.25 5 min 25 5 min
5 3 – 4 1.25 5 min 25 5 min
6 3 – 4 1.5 5 min 25 5 min
7 3 – 4 1.5 5 min 25 5 min
8 4 1.75 5 min 30 5 min
9 4 1.75 5 min 30 5 min
10 4 2.00 5 min 32 5 min

Intermediate Program

Some of you may find that the above program does not allow you to achieve your target heart rate. If that is the case, go to the intermediate program below:

Week Walks per
week
Distance
(in miles)
Warm-up time Minutes walking Cool Down time
1 4 1.25 5 min 25 5 min
2 3 – 4 1.25 5 min 25 5 min
3 4 1.5 5 min 30 5 min
4 4 – 5 1.75 5 min 32 5 min
5 4 – 5 2.0 5 min 36 5 min
6 4 – 5 2.25 5 min 38 5 min
7 4 – 5 2.5 5 min 42 5 min
8 5 2.75 5 min 44 5 min
9 5 3.0 5 min 48 5 min
10 5 3.25 5 min 50 5 min

Advanced Program

Week Walks per
week
Distance
(in miles)
Warm-up time Minutes walking Cool Down time
1 4 2.0 5 min 35 5 min
2  4 2.0 5 min 35 5 min
3 4 2.25 5 min 39 5 min
4 4 – 5 2.5 5 min 43 5 min
5 4 – 5 2.75 5 min 47 5 min
6 4 – 5 3.0 5 min 51 5 min
7 4 – 5 3.25 5 min 51 5 min
8 5 3.5 5 min 53 5 min
9 5 3.75 5 min 56 5 min
10 5 4 5 min 60 5 min

Check your pulse and your target heart rate:

After you have walked half way, check your pulse. If you have not reached your target, then you need to pick up the pace. Check your pulse again when you have completed your walk (sometimes you will need to check it more often, but again, consult with your doctor). Within ten minutes after you have finished your walk your heart rate should have de-creased and you should be able to catch your breath.

Warm up and Cool Down:

Before you start your walk, you need to stretch. Here is where the physical therapist can help you with some simple stretching and breathing exercises. You need to get just a bit warmed up before you go marching off through the mall. When you are finished walking, you need to cool down a bit. Don’t just plop in a chair and look dazed—cool down by slowing down to a gentle walk. Warm up—cool down.

Contact your physician if you notice any of the following:

  • Chest pain after or during exercise. This might indicate some heart trouble.
  • Light-headedness
  • Heart rate which decreases during exercise
  • Joint pain

Weight loss surgery patients may have weakened joints that hurt

Water aerobics classes are a great way to exercise and are gentle on the joints. An exercise bike is great. You can put it in your living room or den (or wherever you want to put it), where it doesn’t rain or get too hot. To get motivated to use a piece of exercise equipment, exercise with a buddy or a group. Instead of spending the money on some home equipment, join a gym. If you live near a city, go to the mall and walk. Many malls open a couple of hours before the stores do just so people can walk and exercise. Also, you will meet a lot of interesting people getting their laps in before the stores open. Look around you. There is always some place to exercise.

What should Lap-band or Gastric Plication surgery patients expect from exercise?

  • Your heart rate should increase during the exercise and then return to normal within ten minutes
  • You should feel some fatigue and soreness in your muscles, which will improve over the next day or two
  • You should feel a sense of “accomplishment” or improvement as the weeks go by

Exercise will make you feel better. Many patients find that once they start exercising, they enjoy doing it and they enjoy the results. You will find that your clothes fit better, and you will have more stamina to do things you enjoy (yes, those things too).

Okay, but let us be honest—most of you will hate the thought of exercise but like the idea of what it can do for you. It is easy to become discouraged, to quit, and yet this is one of the best things you can do.

Simple do’s and don’ts about this program:

Do—see your doctor, before starting the program and get his/her blessing.

Do—drink water. You will need to increase your water intake as you exercise.

Do—find a good place for this. Malls are the best as they have an even surface and the temperature never varies. Often malls open early and have walkers every morning who take advantage of them.

Don’t—walk immediately after a meal or before a meal.

Don’t—walk in bad weather or ice, or during lightening.

Set a goal:

Follow one of the above programs, if recommended by your doctor, at the same time every day. This requires time for your body to adjust. Morning is usually the best time so you will not feel too tired to do the exercises.

Measure what you do:

Exercise Record

Record not only the distance in miles, but also the steps you take. Also record your heart rate half way through the walk and ten minutes after. Contact your doctor if you have any of the warnings listed above.