Before we dive into exercising with an ostomy, you will first need to understand what an ostomy is all about.
An ostomy refers to surgery where an opening is created in the body to allow for urine and feces to leave the body. This is done as a countermeasure to urinary or digestive problems.
There are 3 basic types of ostomy— ileostomy, colostomy, and urostomy.
Now let’s proceed to about exercising with an ostomy, the possible challenges you will face, and how to overcome them.
You see, living with an ostomy is not a disability and so you can engage in all sorts of exercises but you need to be patient and first seek your doctor’s approval before getting started.
Before we discuss the optimal exercises that are a fit for you, let’s first have a look at the challenges you may experience while exercising with a stoma and how you can beat them.
Possible challenges that may threaten your exercises and how you can overcome them.
- The biggest challenge you’ll need to overcome is negative body image and self-esteem issues. People tend to see themselves as inadequate because they now have to carry an ostomy bag for collecting body wastes. To overcome this challenge, you need to see the bigger picture which is your being alive. If however you constantly battle with your self-esteem, you should join a support group where there are other ostomy patients, learning about their story will help improve your own situation.
- Another thing is showering after exercises. You don’t water getting into your stoma right? Luckily, you can get this powerful shower guard for showering to solve that big challenge.
- You will tend to become quickly dehydrated. Every time you are going on an exercise, make sure you have your water supplies handy. Findings also reveal that eating carbohydrates before exercising helps reduce the rate at which your ostomy bag fills up.
- Another challenge you should be wary of is the risk of parastomal hernia. A parastomal hernia is a situation where sort of your intestines sticks out of your stoma. You have a greater risk of a hernia if you engage in strenuous exercise that overly pressures your abdominal muscle.
To overcome this challenge, talk with your doctor before resuming any exercise and ensure your abdomen area is protected with a hernia belt during exercising. It also pays to keep your weight in check.
You will now learn about optimal exercises that are a fit for anyone living with an ostomy.
- Swimming: Swimming is a great exercise that works your whole body without putting strain or pressure on your stoma.
- Walking: is a great way to get started with exercises, walking enables you the opportunity to rebuild your fitness at your own pace. It can also reduce stress and constipation.
- Abdominal exercises crunch: it helps prevent the weakening of the abdominal muscles. Ventilated support belts are recommended and it is recommended that you avoid sit-ups as they may cause a hernia.
- Weightlifting: Findings show that a positive correlation exists between weight-bearing exercises and bone density. Bone and muscle tissue tend to weaken as a person’s age and weight lifting can help counter this progression.