Bariatric surgery can seriously improve your health and quality of life, but life after surgery has to be active in order for healthy and permanent weight loss to take place. Stomach bypass surgery is only the beginning of your journey to a slimmer, healthier you, and in order to get the full benefits, regular daily exercise is essential.

But getting regular exercise doesn’t require an expensive gym membership with fancy machines and spinning classes that make you wish your legs would just fall off and get it over with. According to Iowa Weight Loss Specialists, which specializes in bariatric surgery for weight loss, you can get your daily exercise in without even realizing you’re “exercising.” They recommend starting out by walking every day, starting immediately after surgery, and adding other physical activity once you’ve healed.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, which equates to a half hour of exercise five days a week. But happily, according to the National Institutes of Health, you don’t have to do all of your exercise at once. You can break it up into three 10-minute chunks, which is great if you’re particularly busy or easily winded in those first post-surgery weeks and months.

Working Up A Sweat Outside Of A Gym

Here are four gym-free ways you can get the exercise you need without buying an expensive home exercise equipment or joining the local Y.

Yard Work

Working in the yard burns a lot of calories, and it works muscles you probably didn’t know you had. Bending, digging, hauling, hoeing, planting, weeding, and raking are excellent physical activities that will keep you fit while improving your outdoor space and giving you plenty of fresh air.

Walk the Dog

Dogs need exercise too, and bonding with Spike on a moderately intense 15-minute walk twice a day will benefit both of you. Best of all, you’ll have company on your walk, and you’ll be helping Fido strengthen his joints and bones to ward off pain and immobility in old age. Avoid walking the dog in extreme heat unless you take along a water source, and be sure to take along a couple of dog doo bags to clean up after Sadie does her business.


Whether you head out to a night club or turn on your favorite tunes in the living room, moving your body to music is a great way to get exercise and improve your sense of wellbeing through the universal language of music. Disco, hiphop, ballroom, and country line dancing are just a few of the styles to choose from. As long as you’re moving, it doesn’t matter what you listen to. Keep your abs engaged as you dance, and incorporate plenty of stretching as you move to the music.


Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that can help you lose weight and improve strength and flexibility. It’s a refreshing way to spend a summer afternoon, and you can incorporate stretching into your swim routine. Don’t know how to swim? No problem. Just walk through the water. The resistance works your muscles and gets your heart rate up. You can also hold onto a floating device and kick your way across the pool and back, jog in place, or tread water. If you’re outdoors, be sure to slather on the sunscreen, and have a tall thermos of ice water handy to stay hydrated.