Summer’s arrived, and you want to spend as much time in the swimming pool as possible. But what does that mean if you’re recovering from gastric sleeve surgery? Is it safe to swim? How soon after surgery can you take a dip in a chlorine or salt-water pool? And how much swimming is too much? We dive deep to answer all your questions and more, in this article about swimming after the gastric sleeve procedure. Read on for more!
Is it Safe to Swim After the Gastric Sleeve?
The short answer is yes! However, after gastric sleeve surgery, your body is still adjusting to changes, which is why it’s important not to push your body too hard or too soon. Normal gastric sleeve recovery means you should be able to resume activities of daily living such as going up steps or taking care of yourself in the shower within three to four days after the procedure.
How Soon Can I Swim After Gastric Sleeve?
A general rule of thumb is to check with your clinicians to find out how soon you can swim and then increase your activity levels gradually as you recover from your procedure.
We recommend that patients wait three weeks before swimming and at least four weeks before using a bathtub or hot tub. Showering within two days of surgery is fine.
If you have open wounds or any condition that increases your risk of infection or delays healing, you should avoid swimming for longer.
Benefits of Swimming After Gastric Sleeve
Swimming offers a wide range of health benefits including feeling and looking younger, increased muscle tone, strength, and improved flexibility because you are moving through water and not air. However, the biggest benefit of swimming following a gastric sleeve procedure is that it gives you the perfect full-body workout with minimal risk of injury. Your buoyancy in the water means you only rely on 10% of your weight at a given time, which makes it an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints, as there is no pressure. In addition to being kind to your joints, you are also at less risk of fatigue and exhaustion during exercise.
How Much Swimming Can I Do?
If you have enough energy to perform 30 minutes of exercise, why not aim for 10 laps doing a mixture of the four basic strokes – front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly? Start with two easy laps to warm up such as the breaststroke or butterfly. Then going at a faster pace, do three sets of two laps with the front crawl, resting 20 seconds between laps (the front crawl is generally faster than the other strokes, so you can cover more distance). Then cool down with two easy laps of the backstroke.
With time, you may even be able to build your endurance and strength and increase to 15 laps or 20 laps, with the goal of building up to one hour a day. If you swim in a chlorinated pool, be sure to wear goggles to prevent eye irritation and to help you see better in the water.
Weight Loss Solutions at SmartShape™
Are you ready to make a life-changing decision to lose weight surgically? Learn more about the gastric sleeve and other weight loss solutions at the SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre, by connecting with a Program Advisor today. Call (888) 278-7952 or schedule a free consultation!