Do you love to play tennis or golf? Think there’s nothing better than jogging, yoga or going for a swim? That’s great! Having an ostomy should not prevent you from staying fit.
With your healthcare professional's permission, you can return to most sports and activities you enjoyed before your surgery. The only possible exceptions are contact sports (such as boxing, wrestling or football) because of injury risk to the stoma from a severe blow.
People living with an ostomy include competitive distance runners, weight lifters, skiers, swimmers and many other amateur and professional athletes. And if you didn’t exercise before your surgery, there’s no time like the present to start.
Here are a few tips for resuming exercise and other physical activities:
Start slowly and go at your own pace
Your abdominal muscles will need some time to heal from your surgery. Your healthcare professional can tell you when and how to start exercising again.
Choose an activity you enjoy
Fit the activity into your schedule at least three times a week, for a minimum of 30-60 minutes per session.
For the best experience, empty your pouch before you exercise
Also, ensure your wafer has been on for at least an hour prior to getting wet or beginning any activity that will cause you to perspire.
Don't worry about breaking a sweat
Most ostomy pouching systems are water-resistant, even for swimming. For swimmers: cover the vent on your deodorizing filter with a filter cover to prevent water from entering the pouch. You can remove the cover once you are dry.
Want to relax in a sauna or hot tub?
No problem, as long as this is approved by your healthcare professional. Simply add a water-resistant tape frame around your barrier to protect the adhesive, and be sure to check the seal periodically.
me+™ Recovery - Your Guide to Recovery After Ostomy Surgery
If you’ve had ostomy surgery, currently have an ostomy or have had a reversal, then me+™ Recovery is for you.
In the early days after your operation, there’s a lot to come to terms with, and it can be a difficult and challenging time. But having an ostomy doesn’t have to stop you from living a completely normal and healthy life.
Try to be patient and don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. It can take a number of weeks for the surgical site and tissue to fully heal.1 However, you can help your recovery by beginning to take part in some gentle activity and movements. Follow the movement series, starting with Green Phase 1, which you can start within a few days after your surgery.
1 Mercandetti, M. Wound Healing and Repair. Medscape Updated March 2015. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1298129-overview. Accessed February 5, 2018.