Exercise in Morbid Obesity

An exercise program can be quite intimidating for someone who is suffering from obesity because it can make physical exertion very difficult and going to the gym a daunting task. Although exercise has been shown to improve weight loss, there are certain factors which may make this difficult and having obesity may already show signs that exercise may be ineffective for you at this stage of your weight loss journey.

A 1997 report conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council for the Australian Government determined conclusively that exercise:

  • without diet changes, resulted in small amounts of weight loss
  • keeps muscle weight on during diet restrictions
  • raises resting metabolic rates and increased fat oxidation
  • lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • can help stabilise weight loss and keep weight levels lower.

Then in 2002, Australian researchers further reviewed just how effective the current treatments for severe obesity were in patients and found that weight loss surgery was the only effective option available for this subset of patients at the time. It may seem like a stretch, but for people who are truly suffering from this chronic disease which causes insidious damage over time, surgery was in fact the only solution that was significantly effective in helping these patients.

As a bariatric surgeon will tell you, obesity can be largely genetic and this can make exercise futile and dreary for patients who are genetically predisposed to obesity. The psychological effects this can have on people can be disheartening. And with family and friends telling you that you are lazy, or that it is just your diet that has created this problem, they would be completely incorrect in their assumptions for patients whose obesity is due to a combination of their genetics and the environment.