CSP website

30 October 2012

Exercise is the key to preventing weight regain following bariatric surgery.

This was the message from Bethany Aitkin, a senior physiotherapist at Nuffield hospital in Glasgow, where she runs a programme to promote exercise and education as a complement to weight loss surgery.

Delegates heard that most patients are likely to regain weight following procedures such as gastric bands or balloons, unless they adhere to long-term lifestyle changes – including diet, behaviour and exercise.

Bariatric patients who exercise were likely to lose an additional 6kgs, decrease their body mass index by an additional two units and experience a 28 per cent higher loss of fat mass.

As a result, Ms Aitkin and her colleagues have been offering bariatric patient classes consisting of 30 minutes of education and 60 minutes of exercise.

‘We are trying to promote exercise advice of 150-200 minutes per week of moderate to high intensity exercise,’ said Ms Aitkin.

‘It’s the most successful way to prevent weight regain.’

All the patients who had completed the Nuffield Hospital exercise classes had since joined gyms or regularly participate in walks and runs, Ms Aitkin said.

And surveys showed that most patients wanted one-to-one exercise sessions that were agreed to and set-up before surgery, she added.