Being active with an ostomy

Being active

You can do any activity with an ostomy, including sport, exercise or going out, as long as you know when to be a bit cautious.

Though most things are easier in the comfort of home, it is really important to get back to living and all the things that you enjoy. That includes going out. Whether it be going out for a meal, visiting with friends or going for a walk, your ostomy shouldn't stop you.

your ostomy shouldn't stop you from going out

Ease into it

To build up the confidence to go ahead and do it, give yourself small targets in the beginning. Perhaps things like using a public toilet for the first time or visiting a relative or planning a day away. Gradually, you will feel ready for more – and wider-ranging – activities. Be patient with yourself during the recovery period.

Exercise is good

Almost without exception, you will benefit from doing some level of exercising. What type and amount depends greatly on what you did before your surgery, but both swimming and brisk walking are very good (and low-impact) ways to keep fit and keep your energy levels up.

Are there limits to what you can do?

Until your ostomy and abdominal area are fully healed, strenuous activities can put you at risk for a hernia. To minimize the risk of hernia, you should avoid any kind of heavy lifting (anything more than 7-8 pounds) for the first six to eight weeks after your surgery.

If you take the right precautions, you can exercise with fewer limits. But you should always check with your doctor or ostomy nurse to approval before you start exercising.

This website includes general guidelines. Always follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

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