How often do you hear or read people talking about working your core? How often do you feel a pang of fear and think I’ve had abdominal surgeries or my illness/ostomy won’t let me? Trust me you certainly aren’t alone! I have felt like that since 2008 after my first surgery and I am here to tell you that you certainly can and it certainly doesn’t revolve around those ridiculous boot camp style exercises.
Whilst in the not so distant future depending on how your body copes, reacts and adapts to core exercise you maybe able to do HIIT style workouts it certainly isn’t necessary. So as you may have read in my post about running a couple of weeks ago that I am getting back into the whole running gig and I have now ran 20 miles in 8 runs and will be running the Great North Run in September! Having good core muscles is going to benefit me massively in helping prevent a hernia (along with my support wear of course) but keeping the muscles around my hips strong as I really do struggle with my connective tissue in my joints thanks to being a “zebra” and having Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
I have been reading a book called “The Bowel Cancer Recovery Toolkit” by fellow ostomate and clinical exercise specialist Sarah Russell. Her book talks about getting people exercising during cancer treatment, after surgery and beyond. There is a nifty little chapter on exercising with a stoma and two entire chapters dedicated to beginner and advanced core exercises. These are all done in stages and state when they can be started; some as little as 3/4 days after surgery which sounds scary but they are super gentle and can be done whilst laid in bed. She has images and thorough explanations which is always useful.
Coloplast also did a big push on keeping these muscles strong after surgery a few years ago called core4 this had a video and you can request leaflets on the exercises. Again these were gentle movements you could do and begin to feel more confident with movement.
Exercise is critical for us as humans; no let me rephrase that M O V E M E N T is critical for us as humans and finding something that you enjoy to keep your body as healthy as possible be it gentle like walking or dancing to something more high intensity such as running or weights. Find something you enjoy and just take your time to build up your strength no matter how long ago your surgery was because YOU are worth it.
What sort of exercises do you take part in? Do you have worries around your muscles and the risks of hernia’s?