Exercise and Diet with an Ostomy

People living with an ostomy (stoma) often have health challenges. Ostomy surgery is an operation which allows bodily waste to be transferred through a surgically created hole in the abdomen into an external bag or pouch. It is a life-saving procedure for many. However, it can sometimes get in the way of them going about their daily activities like everyone else.

Proper exercise and diet can be achieved for people with an ostomy. Here’s a few ways how it can be done:

1. Stay Hydrated

woman drinking water

An important factor in maintaining good health is to stay hydrated. People with Ostomy bags should drink about four to eight glasses of liquid every day. Water and juices give you less chances of problems with bowel movements, as opposed to soda or alcohol. Consuming liquids regularly throughout the day can help reduce the chances of being dehydrated, which can cause headaches, dry skin and other health issues.

2. Eat Balanced Meals

selection of healthy food

You also have to watch what you eat. Some people have problems with foods that have tough outer skins or foods that have a lot of fiber, while others have no such issues. Eat foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy carbohydrates and fats. Make sure that you chew your food thoroughly to reduce digestive problems. Stay away from fatty or processed foods whenever possible. If you do experience a blockage, continue with your regular meals, but add liquids a little more frequently to help the blockages pass. See your doctor immediately if the blockage problems persist, or if you are experiencing nausea, vomiting or stomach pain. They can also recommend certain foods for your diet if you are having issues.


3. Exercise Regularly

woman jogging in the park

Regular exercise is possible for people who have undergone an ostomy. Most physicians recommend waiting at least three months after your surgery to begin regular physical exercise. Start out slowly. Work out or take a healthy walk or jog for fifteen or thirty minutes at a time. Gradually increase your workout times and activities to build strength and endurance. You may want to enroll in a gym or fitness center and talk to a trainer who can create a fitness plan that’s customized to meet your needs. If you do experience pain or a blockage, it’s okay to take some time away from your exercise regimen for a while. Just make sure that you return to normal physical activity when you feel better. This helps to improve muscle condition, bone density and also has positive effects on your mind and self-image.

There are a wide variety of support products for people who have undergone Ostomy procedures. You can find out more online about Ostomy Belts and other aids. You can also talk to your doctor or health care provider for advice about recommended products.

A healthy lifestyle is very realistic for people with an ostomy. It just takes dedication and concentrated effort. If you feel like you can’t do it alone, recruit a few friends or family members to assist you. They can help motivate and encourage you to achieve your wellness goals. Being active and staying healthy is just part of living a happier, more productive life.

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