Having a colostomy, or any kind of ostomy for that matter, is a life-changing procedure. It may seem daunting but most people still enjoy a good quality of life. Yes, it will sideline you for a while and you’ll need to make some changes but that doesn’t mean you have to give up exercising with a colostomy. Quite the opposite actually – you just have to exercise smarter! In fact, once you’ve fully healed from surgery, many people are able to keep to the same fitness routines, sometimes with a few minor modifications.
Where To Start
First things first, you’ll need to obtain your doctor’s approval before you can get back into working out. Working with your doctor and a physiotherapist will be crucial in the beginning. And although you should never overdo it, it’s a good idea to start going for slow walks and light stretching as soon as you’re able to. Focusing on keeping up your cardiovascular endurance is the first step to exercising after an ostomy. When you are ready, you can add in other types of cardio training and light weight training as part of your regimen.
What To Be Careful Of
Having an ostomy makes you more susceptible to dehydration, so it’s very important to exercise with a full bottle of water close by. It could also be a good idea to eat something small with carbs both before and after your workouts. This will help absorb the water so that you won’t have to keep emptying your bag. As you would normally, it’s important to replenish your electrolytes during and after workouts. Find a good quality low sugar sports drink.
After having abdominal surgery, the risk of getting a hernia goes up. When your muscle has been cut, potential weakness at the site of the incision increases, so it may be wise to play it safe by not doing any direct abdominal exercises. Stability exercises, yoga, Pilates, or other core training methods are ways you can still hit the abs without the added risk. For example, compound movements like squats involve your tummy muscles when done properly. This is true of most compound exercises to varying degrees. It’s also a good idea to get a good quality belt to hold your bag firmly into place. Having it bounce around during a run only places you at further risk of getting a hernia.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is to listen to your body. If something is painful or doesn’t feel right, then just stop doing it. Like anyone else, you’ll have days where you’re tired or don’t feel well. Your body needs time to recover and heal. This is a great chance to have a better awareness of your body and reflect on healthy lifestyle adjustments that you can make. A new you!
Please feel free to contact us if you’re in need of some workout ideas or have questions. Having a certified personal trainer that can train you in your home is a great way to safely exercise post surgery or if you are living with a medical condition like MS or type 2 diabetes. Try 2 sessions today with a Busy Bee Fitness Expert for only $90.