Gym with a Colostomy: Safe or Risky?


Hello! It's been 11 months since my APR and colostomy. I have regained almost all my strength after my chemotherapy last May 2011. I'm thinking of getting back my old body back and I want to enroll in a fitness center again. Is it okay to go to a gym with a colostomy? I'm concerned about the hernia or busting my ass or stitches ever. Is it okay to do weights or aerobics? Please advise, I'm a regular gym addict before and I really want to do my workouts again. If not, what kind of exercise can you recommend? Thanks a lot and God bless you all!


It is just what I did this morning, I went to the local gym [I have never been in one in my life before today] and enrolled for just one month for a start to see how I go.

Each one of us is different and no one here should advise you of what you can and cannot do, you need your doctor or at least your ET's to advise you as to what your situation entails.

True, going to the gym will be beneficial for you if you are doing the right things but it could just as easily put you back in the hospital if you do all the wrong things and over stress the wrong parts the wrong way.

Play it safe and ask first, then you should not only not have any problems but know that you are doing the right thing as well.

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Hi, it's been about 4 months since my APR and colostomy, and I can't wait to go back to the YMCA and work out again. But first, I have to finish my chemo treatments. Only 4 more rounds to go. I was told that it would be good for me to get back to exercising, but I have to take it slow so I could rebuild my strength again.


I've been going to my health club for the past 25 years. I had ileo surgery 8 months ago. I wanted to go back to working out, so I checked with my surgeon. He said there are no restrictions. I have resumed working out again with light to moderate weights and have had no problems.

Try to use as much common sense as possible. Don't get carried away, and you should stay out of trouble. Personally, I do not do squats or bench presses or anything that puts a strain on the waist or abdomen area. Hope that helps.

I was a regular at the gym before my ileostomy, and I started slowly and worked my way up. I keep my ileo supplies and a change of clothes in my gym bag just in case. I have showered and changed my appliance at the gym - strange, but sometimes you can't be at home. I was told by my surgeon to not lift over 40 lbs. ever again. Maybe this is different for men too, but I have not had a problem with obstructions or hernias. I take aerobic classes and lift weights. When I feel something straining my abdomen, I just move on to the next thing. I do light hand weights while balancing on a bosu ball to regain my core strength. Talk to a trainer and tell them what you need. I think that the best part is that some people who know I have the ileostomy say that I inspire them, that if I can do it, then they feel like they should be able to do it. I think that the struggle with my weight is more of a handicap than my ileo. It is a good stress relief, and I think being active keeps things moving. Good luck!


Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Great, go back to the gym. What about getting a hernia belt? I would just find out about that part. You don't want to end up hurting that part. Just ask about hernia and what to lift or something. xx


Just like others said, I took supplies and I didn't lift heavy things due to the fact that I am hernia-prone. So, good luck.


I have a permanent colostomy and am also a cancer survivor. Also, I am a woman who has worked out all her life. I was worried because so many people on this site have had hernias. I checked with my doctor who said I was no risk and started up again. I do aerobics and yoga and run, and this Friday I am trying an aerial aerobic class. I am a little worried since I don't want my shirt to fall open and show anything. I did adapt what I wear though. I used to wear a high impact bra and very form-fitting workout clothes. I STILL wear those but took old t-shirts of my son and husband that they don't wear and cut out the neckband and the arms so I have a sleeveless, large tee. This is a loose but relatively cool overshirt. My ostomy runs all the time, so I don't want the big belly bulge to show.