Walking With a Stoma
After stoma surgery, healthcare professionals often encourage you to get up and about, usually before you leave the hospital. Taking short walks, even to the next room, will help to increase your strength and can also be great for your mental health.
Being active is good for your recovery as well as your general health. The Department of Health recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of activity per week1. There are lots of different ways to achieve this, and walking is a great way for you to get started. Low impact exercises such as walking are a good way of improving your fitness without being too harsh on joints. You might not feel ready to go outside for a walk, or the weather may not be ideal, but even moving around inside the house is beneficial to your recovery.
When you are ready to go outside, you could start with a flat, easy route, ideally near your home. You can increase the distance or time you spend walking a little each time. Adding a couple of minutes to your walk every few days will help you to build up your fitness in manageable portions. Getting outside during your recovery can help you to feel more confident before you return to work or resume your usual routine.
Though exercise is important, make sure you take it easy. Injuring or over-exerting yourself could prolong your recovery, so it is important to be careful. Pay attention to your body. If you feel discomfort or excessive fatigue, then make sure you stop exercising until you feel better. When you go out for a walk, be careful not to stray too far from home. Remember that you’ll have to walk home again!
Walking can be more fun if you have company. Lots of people find that having a fitness buddy helps them stay on track. If you’re struggling to stay motivated, try exercising with a family member or friend. When you feel ready, you could try jogging or more challenging walks.