Safe exercises for stoma-ed tummies?

Jun 07, 2013 12:37 am

Can we use "stoma" as a verb?
How do you keep your stoma-ed tummy in the best shape you can? What exercise is safe? Jack knives? Crunches? I know we aren't supposed to lift more than five pounds, anything I should know about exercising the lower abs?

Captain Tact
Jun 07, 2013 3:02 am

Five pounds?!?!?

Shoot....that might explain my issues!

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 34,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Jun 07, 2013 11:41 am
Oh, Captain Tact, I was browsing the site last night and found in one thread that it is 25 pounds. I'm sure my ostomy nurse told me 5, she said "nothing heavier than a gallon of milk", but maybe that was just for a period after the surgery, not for life. My information seems wrong as I do pick up more than five pounds and only got a small hernia after picking up my then seven-year-old who had a fever. Really dumb move, lol.

I also found another thread where this question had been asked but no real answers on specific exercises, though some exercise DVDs that are pretty intense were being used while another said her doctor said no tummy exercises at all, it's asking for trouble.
Jun 08, 2013 10:57 pm

Hello, this is a link to a stoma site that has suggested exercises for folks like us...check it out.

In case I do not get the hyperlink to work here it is where you can copy and paste it:

Jun 09, 2013 12:55 am

Mrs. A, this looks perfect. Thank you so much. I just want to make sure I don't hurt myself. It's been two years since the surgery and (insert on-topic but mildly random happy chattering here....)


Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Jun 10, 2013 1:43 am

You are quite welcome! Please let me know how they work for you.

Jun 10, 2013 5:42 am

Hi ... everyone is different and of course some might have hernias to be extra careful with .... but I still do my ballet and yoga stretches and leg lifts .... also belly dancing moves, even in your private space to music really helps firm up tummy muscles as well as relax and help maintain flexibility. Try things a little at a time and not in excess to see how it makes you feel. xoxo

Jun 11, 2013 1:42 am

Super specifics, thanks! I'm really appreciative. I'd already started doing some tummy exercises and am very glad to know that nothing is a no-no that I've been doing or like to do. AND I've now picked up some new cues. Thank you, thank you, thanks.

Past Member
Jun 11, 2013 3:11 am

I've had an ileostomy for 9 years; I am a full-time Pilates and TRX instructor. I also teach karate classes and have run a full marathon and numerous half marathons with my ostomy.

I got into Pilates after my surgery and highly recommend it to anyone with an ostomy. Pilates focuses on strengthening your core muscles (transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, and multifidi). These muscles protect and support your spine. Since ours are cut open during our surgeries, ostomates often suffer from abdominal hernias and ruptured discs. I would recommend working with a certified private instructor (always look into any fitness professional's certification before working with them) to create a routine geared towards your specific needs and is appropriately challenging.


Snookis Mum
Jun 11, 2013 12:00 pm

Hi Patri
I find the plank is best for my abs. Get into push-up position with back straight, and stay there for as long as you can. It engages your abs, your butt, and your shoulders.
When you get used to it, straight-lift your leg, bring your knee towards your chin and back out again to exercise your abs, butt, shoulders, and hamstrings. Repeat with the other leg. Then if you really get motivated, do a few push-ups.
Have fun

Jun 11, 2013 1:24 pm

Da' Bomb Sandi! I put myself in the plank position and I feel it in my tummy, never knew that! Thanks!

Jun 11, 2013 1:28 pm

Wow Ryan, really glad I asked, thanks. Didn't know to take care with the spin too, invaluable. So far I am seeing anything is possible just forgo actual lifting. I'm glad to know I'm simply under doctor's orders to get help for heavy lifting, but can still sculpt my body.

Good Tuesday morning. Thank you for your post!

Past Member
Jun 11, 2013 7:02 pm

I read this post after I saw the part where you couldn't lift more than 5 pounds. I have a physical job and I work near enough 7 days a week, 10 hours a day. I have lifted a lot more than 5 pounds and pushed heavy items and never given it a second thought. I've not had any trouble (touch wood). I sometimes forget it is there.

Jun 11, 2013 7:56 pm

Touch wood, Starry! Thanks for your story. I too forget that it is there sometimes, and sometimes know full well it is there and feel great anyway. Don't you love to feel good and that all is well in your body!

Past Member
Jun 11, 2013 11:50 pm

I want to thank you for the inquiry and posting of this website. I was browsing and noticed much in all areas regarding ostomy care. I will keep this and refer to it. Great information on nutrition for both colostomy and ileostomy.

Jun 12, 2013 1:13 am
I agree, Jaxdog! I'm super appreciative to be able to sit in jammies or while my kids are watching TV and bump into the experience and wisdom and even pleasure of others around this topic...on my time, in my time, having my own refreshments and using my own bathroom.
Past Member
Jun 12, 2013 1:18 pm

I hear that!

Past Member
Jun 30, 2013 1:29 am

You didn't say how long it's been since your ostomy. I was given a weight limit and strict orders to do no crunches or similar exercises during this period. If you have had your ostomy for a long time, then probably no big thing, but if recent, coordinate through your surgeon's office.

Jun 30, 2013 2:13 pm

Thank you, TacoMonster. It's been a year and a quarter.