Love My Lap Band!

Everything you want to know about life and weight loss with a Lap Band!

Posts Tagged ‘Nordic Walking’

Do I Have To Exercise To Lose Weight With A Lap Band?

Posted by Lori on July 27, 2009

No one admits that they wonder about this, but I know from the searches that bring readers to this site, that it is a popular question.

The answer to that is, in short, you probably don’t have to exercise to lose weight with a Lap Band. I talk to lots of people who lose weight with a Lap Band who don’t exercise. Lorraine Kay, whose Lap Band videos are linked on this site, was in her late fifties and weighed over 300 pounds when she had her Lap Band procedure done at Cedars Sinai. She now weighs 125 and she’s not exercised a day. And there are lots and lots of people out there who have that same experience.

However, Dr. William Lee of Blue Earth, Minnesota, has this to say about exercise and his patients:

Lee said his patients can be divided into two groups, those who shed 6 to 8 pounds a month and patients who lose 10 to 15 pounds a month. “The difference between these two groups,” he said, “is exercise.:

So, he is saying that his patients lose weight without exercise. Good to know. Still, that’s a pretty big gap and I’m sure a lot of us would rather be in the 10 to 15 pound weight loss per month group than the 6 to 8 pound weight loss per month.

Speaking as someone who has both been very successful with exercise programs and an utter failure, I have a few tips for being successful. One of the things that people who aren’t used to exercising do  is that they assume that they should exercise in a certain fashion at a certain time of day. So they sign up at local gym and either plan on working out before they go to work, or after they go to work. And then they get there, discover they hate the gym and after a few weeks, never go back. In point of fact, with the exception of the YMCA, most modern gyms are designed to make you hate them because the corporations who own them make their money because most people who have membership don’t use their facilities. And that is why they don’t offer 3 month memberships. So, unless you know that you love working out at gyms, don’t do that.

If you’re not naturally inclined towards exercise, start off by looking at where you have time open in your schedule and how much time you have. You’re going to fit working exercise into your life rather than re-arranging your life around exercise – at least for now – because if you don’t have to worry about hiring sitters or getting dad to stay home with the kids, or carving out huge chunks of time in your schedule, you’re just more likely to stick with it.  A 20 minute burst of exercise two or three times a day burns more calories than one 40 or 60 minute burst of exercise once a day. Even if you’re at home with tiny kids, you can carve out several minutes here and several minutes there. Can you take 15 minutes while they’re watching Sesame Street, 15 minutes while they nap and 15 minutes after they go to bed? Probably. Boost that up to twenty minutes, and you’re exercising an hour a day. If you work, same thing – do 15 minutes before you leave, 15 minutes on your lunch break, and 15 minutes when you get home. And if you hate exercising in the morning, as I do, skip the morning work out and add one on before you go to bed.

So, what can you do in 10 – 20 minutes that helps burn calories? Lots of things.

  • Dance. Get an MP3 player with several of your favorite dance songs and just dance. If you’re feeling shy, do it behind carefully closed doors.
  • Nordic Walking. I have to do a whole ‘nother post on this because Nordic walking is great for people who are wrestling with their weight. You know those ski poles that cross country skiers use to propel themselves? People use slightly modified versions for walking and it burns 40% more calories, protects joints from wear and tear, improves stability (four legs good), and helps build upper body strength. It’s a real exercise bargain. Here’s YouTube video if you have no idea what I’m talking about.
  • Plain old walking. However much time you have, walk half of it in one direction, and then turn around and come back. When you start picking up speed (and you will pick up speed faster than you can imagine), just do the same thing. It will be fun to see that you consistently travel farther in the same amount of time as your cardiovascular health improves.
  • Calisthenics – remember those? They require nothing except that you have a body. There are lots of routines online and lots of books available.
  • Work Out DVDS – there are tons of these available. This one, from  Gaiam, offers ten minute work outs that you do in front of your tv. And as you get more fit, you can do more than one. This is perfect for people who just don’t have much time to exercise, and the work outs look pretty simple.
  • Resistance Bands – I’ve never worked out with them and I don’t know the first thing about them other than what I have read. Still, it seems like it should work out pretty well. It’s resistance that builds muscles and so I’ll be giving this a shot.
  • Free Weights. You don’t need a lot of equipment to have a good strength programming at home. You need a bench,  a few dumbells to start and a little bit of space. As you gain strength, you’ll want to expand what you own, but that’ll come naturally to you. In the meantime, Strength For Dummies pretty much gives you the basics. And no matter your age or health, there is a strength training program that will make your life better. If you’re shy about going into a store to purchase equipment, order it online.
  • Exercise machines. Well, there are lot of bad ones out there and a lot of expensive ones out there. You some how or the other have to walk the fine line. My suggestion, if you’re interested in buying an exercise machine, is that you go try it out first and make sure you like it. Lots of machines are sized for people over 5’10” and will be tough to use if you’re much under that height. I love working out on the Concept II rower and can get a real zone thing going on where I row and think about what I’m working on and the time just flies.

My suggestion would be that if you are just starting to work out, keep it simple. That’s part of the reason that so many gym memberships fail. There’s nothing simple about driving to the gym, finding a parking place, changing clothes, waiting for a machine, waiting for the next machine, taking a shower and then finding your car and going home. Start by walking, or dancing, or using work out dvds. Then look at incorporating some resistance bands, or nordic walking poles into your routine. At that point, you’ll have aerobic activity and some muscle development going on – and that’s a good thing. Once you’ve adjusted to those changes, then think about adding a weight bench and dumb bells, or an exercise machine to the mix. Keep it simple.

Oh, and if you can, show yourself some love and buy some comfy, high quality work out clothes. They’ll fit better, be more comfortable and last longer. 🙂


Posted in Lap Band Basics, Lap Bands And Exercise, Uncategorized, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lap Bands, Exercise and Nordic Walking

Posted by Lori on March 3, 2008

Wow, have a I gotten a huge response to the exercise post. I know most of us hate exercising – and I’m sympathetic from the get go. But as Dr. Lee said directly in the interview, his lap band patients who do exercise lost between 6 and 9 pounds more per month than his patients who didn’t exercise. For many of us, that’s the difference between getting to our goal weight in a year or getting to our goal weight in two years.

Pete Edwards of sent me a couple articles about Nordic Walking which I’m going to put on a separate page and link including one by Dr. Christine Northrup. I think Nordic Walking is perfect for people who are obese because the poles increase stability, provide more calorie burning and help protect your joints against wear and tear – in other words, less pain. You’ll lose weight faster than walking without the poles, you’ll be safer from falls and stumbles and you’ll hurt less. What could be better than that? In addition, he’s offered any of my readers free shipping on a set of Nordic Walking Poles. If you decide to order a set of Nordic Poles from him, use shipping code PE49636. Good deal, huh? 🙂

I have one more post to make on exercise for the day and then I will return to the subject of insurance which all of my readers seem to find really interesting. You guys…..

Posted in Lap Band Basics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lap Bands, Weight Loss and Exercise

Posted by Lori on March 2, 2008

I’m reading the Mankato Free Press in southern Minnesota right now, and they have an article about Dr. William Lee, a local surgeon, who has just recently begun doing lap band surgeries. It’s a good article with all of the basic information you’d expect. This, however, jumped out at me, and I thought you’d want to know this:

Lee said his patients can be divided into two groups, those who shed 6 to 8 pounds a month and patients who lose 10 to 15 pounds a month. “The difference between these two groups,” he said, “is exercise.”

Up to 9 pounds more a month because of exercise. Wow. Now, I know you probably hate exercising as much as I do. There’s nothin’ I’d rather do than hunker down in my little bedroom on my lap top, with my little foster dog snoring adorably at my feet and cruise the internet. But that really doesn’t cut it, does it? Nope. Not for me. Not for you. And that’s part of the way I, at least, got into this mess.

Anyway, if you’re contemplating surgery, you do need to prepare to start walking afterwards. Being a great walker, myself, I have a few tips to pass along.

First of all, you need to buy a good pair of walking shoes, and that involves going to a store where they really know how to fit you for shoes. A good store will have a clerk that watches you walk, takes a look at your bare feet, checks for flexibility, and they’ll have a good idea what shoes are likely to be best for you. The right shoe can change instantly how far and how fast you walk and how much fun you have doing it. People who have high arches are miserable in shoes designed for people with flat feet and vice versa. The right pair of shoes will let your feet just roll forward – easy as pie – and stay steady. And when you experience it for the first time, it’s going to change your mind about walking. Seriously. Walking, in a good pair of walking shoes, is a premium physical delight. Now, good walking shoes aren’t necessarily expensive. You should budget somewhere between $60 and $150 and it can fall anywhere in between. There are some that are more expensive, but unless they are particularly perfect for you, you can probably find something as delicious for quite a bit less. In LA, my favorite place to buy shoes is Phidipiddes in Tarzana – great stock and wonderful sales people who know their business. It’s worth the trip from all over the city. They also have this little note about how many calories you burn walking:

We are often asked about calories burned while running or walking. The number of calories is directly proportional to your weight. In round numbers, a person weighing 100 pounds will burn 67 calories per mile. If you weigh 190 you will burn 128 calories per mile. These numbers are for walking, and running tends to be slightly higher. As with any transportation system (and our bodies ARE, in fact, a transportation system) the issue is moving weight over distance, so the more you weigh, the more you will burn in moving that weight.

The best site I’ve found for walking is They outline an excellent walking program for beginners. They have a wonderful forum as well where you can check in to ask any questions that you have.

Lastly, I haven’t tried Nordic Walking yet. But I understand from people who have that it makes walking easier particularly for people who are heavy. The poles engage your entire body so you burn more calories, and they help move the impact of weight away from hips, knees and ankles – in other words, less pain. Good deal. Here’s what the Nordic Walking Online Site has to say about weight loss using Nordic Walking Poles:

Nordic walking is also great for weight loss. By using the Nordic walking poles, you increase your heart rate on average 10-15% more than normal walking. This means you can burn up to 450 calories per hour, much more than normal walking, which only burns approximately 280.

Now, the numbers there are less optimistic than the numbers from The Walking Site. But I do know that with the Nordic Walking Poles, so much more of your body is engaged – arms, back and abs – that it will inevitably burn more calories while protecting your joints from trauma. Here’s what Tom Rutlin, who more or less invented it as an exercise form has to say about the benefits:

* Strengthen abdominal, back, arm, shoulder, chest, leg and all “core” muscles (without separate weight or resistance training!)
* Burn 25-50% (and up to 70%!) more calories with each step
* Improve both “cardio” and vascular fitness
* Increase overall stamina and muscle endurance
* Improve lymph system function and boost your immune system
* Reduce pain and injury-causing stress on hips, knees and feet Help maintain overall bone density
* Maintain joint health and range of motion Improve both your posture and balance
* Enhance both your energy and mood Experience a truly fun and convenient “good use” total body exercise

When you first start walking, don’t fret. If you get out of breath after ten feet, that’s okay – just stop. Catch your breath. Walk another ten feet. And then another ten. If that’s all you can do, turn around and go home. Just make sure you do it the next day as well. The point is that you don’t have to be a marathon walker the first day out. Once you get to the point where you can walk a couple blocks and back again comfortably, you’re going to feel a lot different about starting your walking program. And maybe, if you’re too self-conscious, you don’t think of it as a program until you’re that far along. That’s okay too. Whatever you do, don’t let “shoulds” intimidate you. The only thing you should do is get out and walk and get a little fresh air.

Here are a couple more Nordic Walking Links:

I know you didn’t come here to hear about exercising. But I figure that if I can lose eight to ten more pounds per month, that’s something I want to know about and I’m betting you do too. At least, I want you to have the option.

UPDATE Claire Walter, a Colorado based writer, provides a link to her website with a really fantastic story about two obese women who are using Nordic Walking to lose weight and are seeing their blood pressure and other vitals returning to healthier norms.

Elizabeth Foote, one of the two Nordic Walkers, told KSL, “The first time I did this I went out three times. My blood sugar dropped 20 points. So that got my attention. The fact my knees didn’t hurt got my attention. I could breathe and talk while I did this and that got my attention.”

If you’re interested in reading more about Nordic Walking, check this out!

And the link to the home page ofClaire Walter’s Nordic Walking site as well.

Thanks, Claire!

Posted in Uncategorized, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »