Safe Exercises for Colostomy Patients


Hi, I have had a colostomy for almost 3 years now. I have also gained a few pounds because of this and the COVID-19 thing. Can anyone tell me what the safest and best exercise to do? Thanks in advance. New to this site. It may take me a little to get used to the site.


Walking is safe

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Hello Keith.
Welcome to the site! and thank for a very pertinent post. I was amused at the fact that admin have inserted their own contribution by posting about returning to intimacy. I cannot think of a more pleasurable way to exercise.
However, I suspect that their motives were more to do with advertising revenue than giving advice on exercise so I will throw my two penn’th in:
My regular daily exercise routine involves activities to complement my old age and diminishing abilities;
I walk, cycle (both outdoors and in), and I have a 'circuit' that I complete after my irrigation.
The latter is partly for exercise of the upper torso after my heart operation but partly because it helps with the process of expelling waste from irrigating. I also try to write at least a page daily because I am a firm believer in exercising the mind as well as the body; I am also an avid gardener, which provides a variety of different exercises that are not normally described as such. However, as I get older, I realise that these daily routines are just as important as in my younger days when I involved myself in all sorts of more strenuous physical activities.
One last element to my daily ’exercise’ involves exercising the gift of ‘kindness’.
Before COVID-19, I was able to do this face to face with people who were ‘needy’ in this regard. For the past year I have compensated by communicating online with those who still need someone to confide in.
Best wishes


Keith... Welcome to the site. I walk, climb stairs, swim, do lower tummy sit-ups, and floor exercises. I used to lift my 3 lb weights. No lifting over 5 lbs... You could get a hernia (I did!).
Just keep moving.



Hello Bill

All exercise is good but the last mentioned one is especially commendable.

Best wishes.

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Past Member

Walking/swimming is a good start. It's just finding something that you look forward to doing that makes it much easier. There's no exercise that you can't do, even bodybuilding if that's your thing. Whatever you do, just take it slowly and build up to more.

Discovering My Voice

Hi Keith,

I received my ostomy in September 2020. I am a former Pilates instructor. I waited the 6-8 weeks recovery period and then started back with modified Pilates exercises. So far, so good as I am slowly working myself back up to advanced exercises. You can follow my Instagram page @discovering_my_voice for any ideas.


Hi. I have found that if you are interested in an exercise, whatever it may be, you can involve yourself in it. Lifting is the only caveat that I would mention because I am saddled with an inoperable hernia due to lifting more than 50 lbs. (Yes, I knew better but circumstances...) Exercise is very much needed for us ostomates for our innards, such as they are, to do their job and let us absorb nutrients as much as possible. Psychological, to stimulate those endorphins of pleasure and ward off depression and self-pity because of the hand we've been dealt. Quite frankly, I am more distraught over losing the hair on my head than I ever was about having a colonoscopy, sex included. Back to exercise. If you have land, grow something. Gardening is great exercise for the body and the mind. I just planted carrots, beets, English peas, and 100 onions and 25 strawberry plants. I sleep better, mind is more focused on what is real, and my stamina increases daily. Going to the gym is another option----maybe it has a pool to take aquatics exercise classes, or tai chi or simple circuit training limiting the lifting exercises to 5-10 lbs with repetition. Don't obsess over losing weight but to establish a weekly/daily routine that keeps you physically away from the fridge or pantry. Weigh yourself once a week, Sunday morning, and record it. That saying of "Just do It" still stands today.

Old Bud

I keep a bike in the living room to ride while watching TV. Sometimes it's just easier to sit in a chair but I have been going further every day. Stomach muscles and pelvic are good exercises. I developed a hernia because I was stupid. I don't remember any mention while I was in the hospital. Most of what I've learned I learned on here. Good luck! Walking is always good.


Lifting exercises must be well managed after my operations and living in denial that my working life was over, boilermaking was my passion building whatever needed manufacturing, but after my first adventure into my trade I now have a hernia the size of a cantaloupe which in turn has interfered with my stoma application and many leaks damn.


My cantaloupe also interferes with my stoma application with the resulting leaks always at inopportune times. (Always carry a duffle bag full of a complete set of clothes and change of appliance.).  Changing clothes at a gas station is not pleasant but thank God I had the clothes to do so.  Including socks!



I'm Mike from Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb just west of Cleveland. In my opinion, the best exercise is walking. I used to have two Australian Shepherds, Sean and Ginger, with whom I walked every day. I am fortunate to live very close to the Metroparks which is a very large and beautiful state of Ohio park system great for walking. Once my dogs were deceased, I didn't walk as much as before, and finally purchased a treadmill, which is also great for walking and exercise, rain or shine. Treadmills are pretty expensive but are often on sale at various sports gear places including Sam's Club.

I'm single, and live alone. I've had an ileostomy for many years following a very long bout with Ulcerative Colitis. My colon suddenly ruptured, and I ended up spending exactly four months in a hospital (Cleveland Clinic) for four months due to many complications. I was working as a hospital administrator at the time, and attending law school in the evening.

I finally recovered, returned to my hospital job, and completed law school.

Enough about me...Feel free to write back. I would appreciate having a new friend to correspond with.

Take care for now.

Mike from Lakewood, Ohio