"I would have lost weight as long as I stay on the diet required, but the exercise helped me not only lose weight faster, but also helped me with self image as I watched my physical capabilities increase. Exercise is also necessary believe it or not to relieve pain initially. It stimulates the production of endorphins and helps dissipate gas pockets that form shortly after surgery. I had the roux-N-Y procedure, which is a laporoscopic procedure. Part of the procedure is to inflate the abdominal cavity with a neutral gas to give the surgeon room to work. This gas, if you lie around after surgery, causes intense pain in of all places, your left shoulder and the only way to ease the pain is to get up and move around to dissipate the bubble."
"I've tried everything, walking was too painfull, cycling was easier on my knees and a whole lot more fun. I was in pretty bad shape. I tried cycling because when I was much younger, I seriously enjoyed cycling. It was nothing for me to take off on a century, so I wanted to regain that capability. I really couldn't do a lot at first, I was winded and completely exhausted after 1/2 mile. I was determined to get back into life; however, and kept at it. Swimming would have been a good alternative as well as far as low impact, but I couldn't afford to get a membership anywhere. It was a hardship even buying a used bike!
"Cycling has helped me get healthier by helping me drop the weight, in addition to the surgery, along with giving me a tangible feeling of accomplishment. In losing the weight, among other benefits, I am off insulin and diet regulated as far as Diabetes goes. The exercise has helped bring my blood pressure down to normal range with no medication when before, I was holding the bottom end of high blood pressure through medication. In addition, my at rest heart rate is now down in the 60's and 70's from 109. I still have an enlarged heart, but the pumping action has gotten FAR better, I formerly had an outflow fraction of about 68%, and my heart efficiency has increased dramatically. I am also off of Oxygen except for night time use as I still have apnea, so I use oxygen and a Bipap when I sleep still. This is soon to be reevaluated, however. I had a blood oxygen saturation of 68% off of oxygen and had a rough time getting it above 82-85% even at 10 liters of Oxygen/minute. I am currently holding 97% at rest and 85%+ under stress(exercise). I can hold my heart rate at 180 for 30 minutes under exercise without discomfort as well. Before my surgery, I was only able to walk about 40-50 feet without extreme discomfort and chest pain. These are all direct results of the aerobic exercise cycling offers me. My peak weight was 581 pounds and I am currently at 260.
"I've definately learned the principle of 'No pain, no gain.' At first, it was discouraging when it hurt, but you get past that, and the feeling you get from pushing past another barrier is the best feeling on Earth.....BAR NONE! It's kind of like Zen to me, I get lost in the ride and get outside my body, and the next thing I realize, I'm 15-20 miles into the ride and feeling pretty good. I'm not the fastest rider in town, but I am steady! I've gone from a 5 mph pace being all I could do for a half mile at a time to 14-16 mph pace for the day! This is on a mountain bike converted to road, by the way, as I felt the mountain bike would hold up to me better with the heavier components. It boils down to the fact I wanted to stay alive as a reason I went through all this!"
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