“Anyone who knows me will already know that I’m a great advocate for physical activity and remaining mobile as we all age. The cardiologist will keep us all alive until a very ripe old age but what about the quality of life? We need to actively think about “functional fitness” and what that looks like well before we hit age 75 and are no longer physically active. (There should be no age limit to remain active!).
The vision I have for patients is as soon as you can post weight loss start to set some realistic exercise goals. Before too long the goals move with your increased energy; thriving self-confidence and ability to do more every day. I have even seen patients progress to ironman triathlon competition; the sky really is the limit. I believe in having a vision for the future. If I can look back in another 20-30 years and evaluate our patient populations health outcomes I hope that all will be living in their own homes fit, healthy and well, far beyond age 80. This means that you need to be able to self-feed; pick up a fork off the kitchen floor and manage all of your own hygiene needs as a minimum. Hopefully most will already be off the medications that they once relied on to control type 2 diabetes; high blood pressure; depression and anxiety and the rest of the long list of medications that goes hand-in-hand with morbid obesity. To fight the obesity epidemic we need to look carefully at all the lifestyle implications. We are not offering bariatric surgery simply to lose weight. We need to focus on health outcomes; quality of life outcomes and even further; quality of later years in life.
At WLSA we love to encourage movement and exercise programs as soon as possible following weight loss surgery. This year we sponsored 32 participants at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon; the exhilaration and sense of achievement is beyond words. We saw patients completely transform their lives and those who achieved the most in my eyes were the people who could barely walk a year earlier and whom would have inevitably had reduced life expectancy along with multiple medical co-morbidities and potentially looking down the barrel of life in a nursing home.
Next year my plan is to more than double the team numbers. I can confidently say that this event has been just the start for many of our patients.
I can testify to the fact that exercise improves your productivity; improves mood stability; helps you sleep better and so much more. This year I have joined the largest running group on the GC; RK POD. Anyone can join no matter what your ability or your age. You only need a pair of runners and plenty of enthusiasm and motivation to dedicate yourself to a better quality of life. Come and join me!
Exercising as a group builds community and friendships.
This is just me but I think if you chose a group activity you will find the benefits will stretch way beyond just the sport.
If we can help anyone who wants advice on how to start; what to do or where to go, please get in touch. Let’s make a commitment to work towards ending obesity in Australia!”