Starting to Exercise With A Stoma

Have you thought about exercising since having your stoma? We’re you a keen runner or swimmer before your surgery? Or did you want to get into it and just feel too poorly before your surgery? Well exercise with an ostomy can be achieved safely with just a few simple steps.

First of all I highly suggest getting the green light from your surgical/medical team be it your surgeon/ stoma care nurse or your GP. They will be able to offer you some personal advice as we are after all individuals.
From there you can look at support wear to give you a bit extra confidence. Comfizz if you didn’t know by now sell a varied range of styles and levels of support for men, women and children. So everyone can exercise whilst preventing a hernia or supporting a pre-existing one. If you are unsure of what to try please don’t hesitate to get in touch with them and they can assist you in any way you need.

If you are completely new to exercise then the Coloplast Core 4 is a really gentle to start. It’s compromised of 4 very simple movements that you can start after surgery as it is based around your breathing. Each movement gives you a timescale of how long you need to hold it, what’s better it gives you dates you can think about doing each exercise after your surgery which is useful if you are a new ostomate. I would advise to stick to what they suggest and build yourself up slowly.

You can essentially do anything if you build up slowly and safely. Listening to your body is key here trust me on this! But don’t think you can’t do weights because we have Zoey Wright and Blake Beckford who excel in body building! Both have social media sites so please check them out as they are like your “osto- pin up’s” There are ostomates who have done the ironman which I think is insane.

If you would like to go for a leisurely swim or get back into swimming more seriously, the Comfizz waistbands maybe a win for you. They are the companies’ best-selling product for their sheer versatility. They can be easily worn underneath your preferred swimwear. When I get out of the pool I prefer to change my bag as soon as I can when I get changed after the pool, but I know many people who don’t feel the need to do this.

Running again is something I can talk about through personal preference. I was a keen runner before my Jpouch failed and my surgeon kept saying to take it slow. I ran around 1K at the local race for life which was a month after my surgery! Fair to say I looked like a beetroot even when walking!! When it came to running I personally like to layer up my support wear. So for instance a L1 vest and L2 boxers then my leggings and top. But it is a case of what works best for you which may be trial and error.
Pilates and yoga are also both very gentle and good to start with as it is basically stretching in different positions. If you have access to a professional class with a qualified yogi/teacher they should be able to help with correct posture and adjustments you may need.

Walking is the best way to build up fitness and is the absolute easiest exercise for people to be able to do without much outside dependence. Just doing 15 minutes a day and working up to 30 and above is a really good way to get into any exercise.
If you were really into fitness before surgery please don’t get downhearted or upset when or if it takes a bit longer than expected to get your fitness back, to the level you were at. It’s a learning curve but just remember you have been through so much and as long as you give your body a bit of due love and attention you will get there. As they say Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you have ANY worries or new pains (which could be perfectly normal) I highly suggest going to see your health professional. Let’s face it, it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.