Love My Lap Band!

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

Posts Tagged ‘Strength Training’

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. 🙂

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

Lap Bands, Weight Loss and Strength Training

Posted by Lori on March 3, 2008

This will be my last exercise post for a while, but now that I know how much of a difference it makes, I do want to provide you with some kind of pathway.

I talked to my friend Bonney (named after one William Bonney – how cool is that?) about her weight loss at the gym. In her late fifties, Bonney collapsed into a coma and was diagnosed with severe COPD. She was approximately 150 pounds overweight, and after she revived, she was pretty much trapped in her second floor apartment. Traveling up and down the stairs required a tremendous amount of energy and risk so she would only leave a few days a month. After a couple years of this, she discovered that her insurance provided her with a gym membership and access to a personal trainer for a few sessions. She wound up joining a new gym in a somewhat off-the-beaten-path location. And because they were a new gym, rather than getting just a couple sessions with a personal trainer, they assigned her a personal trainer and footed the bill for several months. Her first day, she could barely spend five minutes at the slowest speed on the treadmill. She was also introduced to a round of strength training and resistance exercises. She went four days a week and over the course of eight months, lost 110 pounds. She can now spend about 35 minutes on the treadmill.

I asked her if she had any advice for my readers who are self-conscious in gyms. She said that she’s glad she joined a new gym because the membership was lower – there were just fewer people around. Also, she went at odd times – in the early afternoon or late at night – and that also meant fewer people. They also had a separate section for women and she was far more comfortable there. She loves the treadmill now because it has handlebars that she can balance on – it makes walking easier for her than taking a stroll down the street. The interesting thing is that once she lost 40 pounds or so, the other people in the gym really began to cheer her on. There were a handful of very buff young men who were passionate about their strength training and they became her biggest cheering section. They wanted to hear about her progress and share work out tips with her. Oddly, the people that she was most uncomfortable in front of in the beginning, were the people who became her biggest assets as she continued.

The brilliant thing about weight loss surgery is that it allows you to reset your “set point” – the weight at which your body stabilizes. With a lap band, when you diet and exercise, you can actually lose weight and keep it off – something that fewer than 5% of dieters normally accomplish. Without it, you have a constant struggle for the rest of your life to maintain your weight loss. Strength training and Nordic walking both build up your muscles so that your body consumes more calories as you go through your day. Between that and the Lap Band, you can get to your goal weight or very close to your goal weight and stabilize. From there, you can lead a normal life. You can be healthy and feel beautiful and for probably the first time in many years, not feel deprived. What could be better than that?

Posted in Lap Band Basics, Weight Loss Surgery, Why You Can't (Or Don't) Lose Weight And Keep It Off | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »