With your healthcare professional's guidance, you can return to most sports and activities you enjoyed before your surgery. The only possible exceptions are contact sports (such as boxing, wrestling or football) to avoid risk of injury to the stoma. People living with an ostomy include competitive distance runners, weight lifters, skiers, swimmers and many other amateur and professional athletes. And if you didn’t exercise before your surgery, there’s no time like the present to start.
Here are a few tips for resuming exercise and other physical activities:
- Start slowly and go at your own pace. Your abdominal muscles will need some time to heal from your surgery. Your healthcare professional can tell you when and how to start exercising again.
- Choose an activity you enjoy and that fits into your schedule at least three times a week.
- For the best experience, empty your pouch before you exercise.
- Ensure your skin barrier has been on for at least an hour prior to getting wet or beginning any activity that will cause you to perspire. Most stoma pouching systems are water-resistant — even for swimming.
- For swimmers: cover the vent filter with a filter cover to prevent water from entering the pouch. You can remove the cover once you are dry.
- Want to relax in a sauna or hot tub? No problem, as long as this is approved by your healthcare professional. Simply add a water-resistant tape frame around your barrier to protect the adhesive, and be sure to check the seal periodically.
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