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Getting Back to the Gym


I am looking forward to getting back to the gym, but I'm not sure what would be considered too much. I fear injury to my stoma or even causing a hernia. Is there any type of belt or cover recommended to protect the stoma that could prevent injury or hernia?

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Hi. I had my ileostomy created in early July after a rupture of my large and part of my small intestine. I had a colostomy and reversal 6 years ago because of diverticulitis and a ruptured colon.

Re: returning to the gym:  The first time with the colostomy, I was working as a vising nurse and had to carry large bags/containers frequently (I have always been small 100lbs/4'10") and needed to regain my strength quickly. I did make use of a personal trainer for guidance a couple of times, but otherwise did small weights (4-6 lbs.) and some cardio. Iwas back at work on a limited basis. Now I am retired. I have done mostly classes, starting with gentle yoga and pilates, gradually working up to a cardio crossfit type class some cardio, weights (again small 2 to 3 lbs), core and balance /strength. I've also done a zumba class. Overall I am improving strength and endurance and regaining weight. I have found that core work needs to be done carefully-gradual increase what you do, be very sensitive to what your body is telling you-stop with any strain to prevent hernias, muscle pulling. You do need a stong core to support you. You can really do most of the things you want to do with a lot of care. Just start slow and build up. Some people find a support belt (back or hernia) helps


Hi Bearaby,  I had surgery 6 years ago and currently workout 4 days a week.  I run 20 miles per week and have a vigirious weight program.  My biggest fear is to get a hernia and i hear they are difficult to correct. I am in the best physical condtion of my life so get at it!  Be careful and start out slow.  My incentive is to keep my stomach flat so no issues with wafers. Stay well.  Penguins7


Hello Bearably50.

What is considered too much by one person might not be so for another.  As has already been said, it is wise to build up gradually to any strenuous exercise with or without a belt.  I have opted to wear two belts for different purposes. A CUI  fabric belt for the general hernia and a narrow, firm belt with a hard buckle to press over my stoma, for the parastomal hernia. If you have not yet got a hernia, then I would think it wise to take precautions when exercising. My own guide in the early phases, was to think that if I started feeling the strain, then it was probably too much. A little and often is likely to help build up the muscle without doing too much damage. (but who knows wirth these things!)

 Best wishes 



I got my stoma a month im just starting gym stuff. I lift light wieghts....5lbs. I walk the treadmill as I am too scared to run yet. I hope to figure out yoga (maybe belt down my ostomy bag?). I just know "easy does it" at first. 


Hi there, look at. Comfizz support wear. There's pants and wraps, and a stoma guard.  The ladies pants are great, supportive and don't stop the flow from the stoma. As well as having an ileostomy myself, I'm a carer and have post op Clements, 2 also with ileos, snd I recommend these pants, one has a peristomal hernia and it's stopped it getting worse.  I wear them myself, they work!  As for gym, do whatever you feel happy doing. Listen to your body as you normally would, you're just the same as you always were. Good luck ! 


I am staring at my 3rd hernia repair in 4 years and I wore a hernia belt - and didn't work out in a gym. Some people are just more prone to hernias than others.

As Bill stated above, "What is considered too much by one person might not be so for another." And vice versa. Work closely with your surgeon and listen to your body.


Hi, I posted earlier on my routine. I am thinking about doing a bit more. I started with gentle yoga and over the course of a month, went to flow yoga classes  and pilates for a few weeks , then to cardio cross training (a bit of actve cardio, weights, overall strength training with a bit of core). I have, over the last week, started zumba. Now I'm thinking about Barre and holding it there. I usually do 2 classes a day for 3-4 alternating days. My weight is slowly improving (lost about 15 lbs from 104 to about 90) & I'm small 4'10". My body usually tells me if I start to push it too much and I stop.

My gym has a sauna, hot tub, and steam. I have ventured into the sauna. Has anyone used a hot tub or steam room? I am a little bit concerned about the bag and it's holding up. I have no problems with the sauna. 


Hi! I wear a Nu-Hope Hernia support belt. I've had two hernia's at my stoma, the second I am living with so I wear my support belt all the time. I've owned two, the second is the Cool Comfort model and it breathes much better than the normal version (which was my first one). Its a great product, comfortable to wear, really supports my back. abdomen, torso in general and keeps my stoma hernia from getting worse. 

I also have an Ostomy Armor belt for protection of my stoma during certain activities, mainly for use while racing cars which is my hobby. If I am honest its not the most comfortable thing but it protects the important bits from impact. 

I also use the Ostomy Secrets classic wrap daily. I wear this 24/7, have a bunch and rotate them like other laundry. 

Oh, and I almost forgot, I use Ostomy Armor Waste Wicks. Never go without. They've saved my front butt, my clothing and myself from blow outs, embarassment more times than I can count. I wear them for at minimum the length of each bag/barrier combo but usually I'll wear one for a week at a time. 

As you might guess getting dressed has become a wee bit of an operation, and putting on my racing suit and all the related safety gear is quite the process. :) 

I use a store in Kansas City called Ostomy Care Center, about 45 minutes from my home in Lawrence. They've been rock stars in helping me solve skin irritation problems, continuous blow out problems, you name it. If you have a local store that sells products get to know them, if you have a specialist like we do in KC not only get to know them but buy them donuts once in a while! 

Good luck, you can do this! 


Thanks to everyone for your responses.  Much appreciated


How can I start lifting and help prevent hernia.i just had my 1st hernia operation 2 weeks ago. I want to  go back to gym


Many injuries in the fitness world are the result of overtraining, which is simply applying too much stress to your body and not giving it enough time to recover. After you get injured do yourself a favor and sit back, relax a little bit, and drink Kill Cliff Recovery Drink.

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