Fitness & Sport With A Stoma
After having surgery I felt like I would have to adapt my life and felt like I had to accommodate my stoma into my daily routine, the thought of getting back into a sport or hobby I once enjoyed was incredibly daunting.
As the weeks rolled on after my surgery I started doing little and often exercise and found as my fitness got better my recovery became quicker.
The physical benefits of exercise are important for everyone, but for someone with an ostomy, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your muscles strong are important for helping to prevent parastomal hernias from developing. One of the greatest benefits of exercise, is the psychological and ‘feel good’ aspect. Being able to participate in sport or fitness is an incredibly empowering and will boost your confidence, ability to cope with your stoma and your quality of life.
Prior to surgery I didn’t go to the gym for the 6 months as my flare was so bad it stopped me doing any physical exercise even going for walks was difficult. After surgery once the pain subsides and the scars heal I slowly I built up my fitness gradually. If you’re new to exercise altogether, it can be harder to get motivated, so build up slowly and get advice from a fitness trainer or physiotherapist if you have any queries.
I mentioned in a previous post about the worries you have before taking part in any sport, its normal! The can people see it? Hear it? Hernias? Can I do this sport? If you’re not sure it’s always worth having a chat with your stoma nurse to check!
Here is a couple of things I did to build up my strength and fitness
Walking is the ideal choice for everyone and can be as gentle or brisk as you wish. After your surgery walking will get your system moving and help recovery. Go easy to begin with and build up slowly, perhaps aiming to go a little further each day. When you’re fully recovered however, I would walk up and down steep hills and go for longer quicker walks and it really helped
Running and Jogging
I wasn’t a massive runner before surgery however I started jogging after doing a couple of weeks of brisk walking and it was liberating! I can run and not have to run to the nearest bush – AMAZING feeling!
Yoga and Pilates
Believe it or not I took part in a couple of home yoga videos it helped my posture, strength and flexibility which was all been affected during surgery, after periods of bed rest and recovery. I found it was a great way to relax my mind as well as a gentle way to strengthen my core.
I went back to the gym, carried on my cardio training and used light weights and small reps to build my strength. Take it easy in the gym it’s not a race to get your physique back if you’re not sure on what to do in the gym ask a trainer.
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