Most people with a colostomy or ileostomy are concerned that they might be unable to exercise or play sports as they did before surgery. They usually get the impression that their physical activities will interfere with their stoma care regimen.
The fact of the matter is that you can have an as active lifestyle as you want after having an ostomy. All you have to do is to wait for the impact of surgery to subside. Then, you can discuss with your surgeon or healthcare provider the degree to which you can resume your physical activities. It won’t take long for you to have an active and healthy lifestyle once again. You may find yourself in even better health after ostomy surgery due to the eliminated root cause of your health problems. It will help you become even more physically fit. In simple words, your ostomy will not be a problem if your body is healthy enough to endure workouts.
Although an ostomy should not prevent an individual from participating in most of the sports or exercises, there are some restrictions, though. For instance, an ostomate may have to refrain from engaging in contact sports due to a higher risk of injury to the stoma. Similarly, heavy lifting may also result in an issue for the stoma due to the increased pressure inside the abdomen. You can speak to your doctor regarding sports and exercises you can engage in without having to worry about injuries or issues.
Exercise is good for you even if you have a stoma. In fact, exercise becomes even more necessary after ostomy surgery. Regular physical exertion can help you reduce the risk of certain health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and stroke. An active lifestyle can help you avoid gaining unnecessary body weight. Another very significant benefit of a physical workout is the prevention of anxiety and depression. Striving for all these benefits becomes crucial when you have a stoma.
Now, you may wonder how to prevent your physical workouts from interfering with your stoma. Here are a few tips to help you find the answer.
Emptying your ostomy bag before exercising
The ideal practice of managing your ostomy pouch is to empty it when it is one-third full. The purpose of emptying a bag this early is to prevent it from pulling the skin barrier off the peristomal skin. That is why it is a good idea to empty your ostomy pouch right before engaging in any sports or physical workout. This way, you will not have to stop your workout to empty your ostomy pouch. Since gastrointestinal tract motility slows down during physical activity, your ostomy pouch may remain empty during the entire workout session.
Additional preparation during underwater sports
You can still go swimming if you have an ostomy. Once your doctor permits, you can go and take a dip in the pool. Nonetheless, you will have to get additional protection for your stoma and ostomy bag during such sports. Using high-quality waterproof tape to form a watertight seal around your stoma is one of the few ways to ensure the protection of your ostomy during any water sport.