What Activities Can I Do With a Stoma?
The first thing you should know when you’re thinking of getting active with a stoma is that there is no set level activity for everyone. It’s about finding the right thing for you and not pushing yourself too far.
When you feel ready after stoma surgery you should be able to return to work, as well as any sports and activities you enjoyed before your surgery. If you are considering taking part in contact sports such as boxing, rugby or judo, it’s important to make sure your stoma is protected. If you’re unsure of what you can do or have any questions, then you should seek advice from your stoma nurse.
Getting active has so many benefits, not only for your physical health but also for mental health and wellbeing, which is so important to focus on no matter your stage of recovery. One thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you weren’t very active before surgery.
Nobody is expecting you to become an athlete overnight. Do what feels right for you.
There are so many things you can do now to start to lead a more active life. People often worry that physical activity could harm them, when in fact there are so many benefits to being active.
Below is a list of the many activities you can do with a stoma:
You can do the housework with a stoma. You should speak to your stoma nurse or doctor when thinking about resuming housework as it’s important to ease back into any activity after major surgery.
Walking is a fantastic, low impact exercise which can be started soon after surgery. Make sure you build it up gradually. You could start by going out for a short walk every day and try to increase the distance a bit more each time if you can. However, remember, as far as you walk you might have to walk back again, so start off slowly. If you don’t feel ready to go outside yet, or if the weather’s putting you off, you could even walk around the house.
Riding a Bike
Cycling is another great, low impact exercise that doesn’t put too much strain on your stoma.
Before you get on your bike, make sure you check your suitability with your stoma care nurse or healthcare professional as it’s important to ensure that you have fully recovered from your surgery. This is even more important if you have a perineal wound as the saddle of the bike may cause discomfort to the area at first. You could visit your local cycle shop as they should be able to advise on suitable types of saddles available to make cycling more comfortable.
With the right pouch and a bit of planning, there shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t go swimming with a stoma.
Swimming is great exercise as it works your whole body without putting too much strain or pressure on your stoma. Most stoma pouching systems are water resistant, even for swimming. First, ensure that your pouching system is securely in place. Then, cover the vent on your deodorizing filter with a filter cover to prevent water from entering the pouch.
If you have a colostomy, you may find it useful to wear a stoma cap if it makes you feel more comfortable going swimming. However, this may not be an effective solution if you have an ileostomy or urostomy due to the output being more frequent.
Sports and Exercise
Were you a key player in your rugby or soccer team before your surgery and love nothing more than being part of a team? Want to try something new? Or were you really into your running, yoga, tennis or golf?
If you want to get back to the action of a contact sport or even if you want to get started for the first time, try not to let your anxieties hold you back. It may require a little extra planning than it used to, but you can still partake in the activities you want to.
You might be worried that you’ll cause damage to your stoma if you play contact sports but taking the right precautions and protecting your stoma can help to avoid this. If you feel comfortable in doing so, you could also let other members of your team know that you have a stoma.
You can get back to your favourite activities. Whether it’s a game of tennis or a round of golf, there’s so many things you can do. Be sure to listen to your body and build up your strength and fitness before doing too much.
When you’re active, having a stoma solution you can really trust is incredibly important. Check out our selection of stoma solutions and request a free product sample to see what best suits your needs.