How to set the right goals for your exercise program after weight loss surgery
Throughout this program, you will plan and set exercise goals by completing the activity section of the lessons. Here are a few tips to help you build your goal setting skills.
Goals should be your own. If you are trying to achieve someone else’s goal (e.g. “I’m participating in this program because my husband wants me to lose weight”), chances are you won’t be successful in the long term.
Goals should be specific. “I want to exercise more” isn’t specific enough—how do you know when you’ve “exercised more”? A better goal would be “I want to exercise 4 times this week for 15 minutes each time”.
Goals should be achievable. For the person who is just beginning a power-walk program, it would be unrealistic to set a goal of “I will power-walk every day this week for 2 hours”. Start off slowly and work your way up. (The Get Active! program will help you with this).
Goals should specify completion dates or time frames. Consider this goal: “Over the course of the next week, I want to exercise 4 times for 20 minutes each time”. This goal statement specifies a time frame for completing the goal — within one week.
Tips for Sticking With It
Establishing realistic and achievable goals is key to a successful and ongoing exercise program. There are many steps you can take to help you “stay with the program”. For example:
Choose the right equipment. For example, if your hips, knees or ankles hurt from walking, it could be that you don’t have the right shoes! Consult with a reputable athletic shoe dealer for advice on the best athletic shoe for you to wear when you walk.
Establish a time and place. Include when and where you will exercise as part of your weekly planning activity. You may want to experiment with different times of the day for exercise and find a variety of places where you can do your different exercise programs — e.g. parks, malls, fitness rooms and places within your own residence. You might, also, consider joining a health club.
Find an exercise buddy. Knowing that another person is depending on you to show up for a power-walk can help you leap hurdles of inertia. And more than one exercise buddy can be helpful too!
Overcome boredom. One way to prevent boredom is to engage in a variety of activities. Throughout this program, you will learn a number of different ways to exercise that will help you effectively combat ‘exercise boredom.’
Reward yourself & enjoy. If you want to maintain your new exercise program, you must reward yourself for your efforts! Identify and enjoy non-food rewards when you successfully complete your exercise program. For example, upon completion of two weeks of consistent exercise, treat yourself to a new CD or a sweater.
Continue with the activities you did over the past two weeks. This week, add a walking program to your weekly activities. Walking is an easy and portable way to exercise. You can walk nearly anytime (morning, noon, or night), anyplace (outside, indoors—hallways, stairs, malls) or anywhere (home, the office, vacation), and its great for your heart! To get started, walk at least 5 minutes, 4 times during the first week. After one week, if you feel energized by walking, increase your program to walking 10 minutes, 4 times during the second week. If you feel sore or tired after a week of walking, continue with 5 minutes, 4 times per week. And, as always, if the soreness is severe and you are unable to perform your usually daily activities, consult your bariatric surgeon or physician.
Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.