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Working out with an ostomy

Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:11 pm
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Hi, this may seem like a silly question but I’ve been cleared to start going back to the gym and I was wondering if anyone else has gone to the gym after getting their ostomy. I am anxious to go back to the gym but I am worried as well.  I have so many questions that keep going through my head.......”what if I sweat so much it makes the bag start to come off?” “What if I do something to cause my bag to leak?” “What exercises are ok for me to be doing?”

Also we are planning a trip to Cancun but I am so worried about going swimming with my kids, does anyone have any ideas on swimming with an ostomy?  We also go to water parks a lot which as you know has a lot to do with being in the water, I’ve been told only 30 minutes at time but I was wondering if anyone else has experience with this. Being in Texas I find it hard to be outside unless I’m in a pool  or a water park.

I’m just a mess I am still so new to the ostomy life and I have so many questions but it’s all so overwhelming.

Thank you for any advice.

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:24 pm

Swimming should be Ok. If you have a good seal on land you should be good in the water. Sometimes I use barrier extenders like Brava strips. For a water slide I would ware some kind of cover up. I use a tube top over it. 

MeetAnOstoMate - 26,936 members

Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:39 pm

Thank you I will try that. And I’ve never even worn a bathing suit even before my ileostomy so I definitely won’t be now....lol....I will wear a tight tank top with another shirt over top with my shorts to give it more protection.

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:50 pm

In my experience, sweating a lot can cause the bag to come loose, or at the very least, decrease wear time. You could try putting anti perspiration such as Mitchum roll on,  on the skin around your stoma at bag change time. 

Also in regards to exercising, take care at first, start of easy.  Your abdominal muscles will have to be built up slowly. You have a weak spot where the stoma comes through to the outside, overdoing it to early can cause a risking a hernia, this all depends on how fit you currently are.

Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:20 pm

Hey Sergang,

i have a pool in my backyard and cruise to the Caribbean several times a year so sweating due to the heat, and swimming in the ocean or pool is a big part of my life! I have never had a pouch come off because of any of these activities! I do use Brava Y strips from Coloplast! They are really big so I have to cut them down a little but if your pouch does fail for any reason, the strips give you enough time to find someplace to take care of it! I am not one to go to the gym but so many here do and don’t seem to have issues! I certainly take additional supplies than I know I will use because I am always cautious! Carry an emergency kit in my purse that I have not used in month and have to rotate the pouch and flange in it! So go where you want and do everything you want to do, just stick a little emergency kit in your gym bag or beach bag! 

Good luck, 


Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:27 pm

Hi ,going to the gym is good for you. Just watch lifting too heavy  weights. You need to start slow and build up. I have not had any problems with working out. 

Swimming is very good for you and you should be fine. I just picture frame my appliance with water proof tape. I get this from the drug store.  I haven’t gone down any water slides so I can’t give you advice on that.

Best wishes,

Morning glory

Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:54 am

Hello Sergang,

You can breathe easy as the ostomy is going to be fine for all aspects of your life.  I am in my 6th year and have never been better.  I workout 4 days a week with weights.  I do all sorts of exercises, but just be cautious of the amount of weight as we are more prone to hernias and they can be a real problem to get corrected.  I run 20 miles per week and sweat like crazy.  I use a steam room and the bag has never come off.  Once you are done exercising or swimming it is a good idea to change your wafer and pouch out.  You can buy a bathing suit with a built in pouch holder from Ostomy Secrets.  Just dont stay in pool for too long.  Limit your food intake before swimming.  I also use there under wear.

I got to Cancun every year and have never had issues with the heat.  Just take plenty of extra supplies.  Good luck and stay well.  Let me know if i can help you out with anything else.  Penguins7

Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:50 pm

Hello Sergang,

My workouts are mostly using isolating exercises.  I have had 19 surgeries and 3 of those were surgical site hernia repairs.  Everyone has their own goals and for me arms, legs, and cardio are the most important to me.  I gave up on being a centerfold when I lost my navel many years ago! LOL

As for swimming, a number of manufacturers make ostomy swimming belts.  They're very similar to the binders that have cutouts to accommodate a pouch but they also keep the pouch from "floating around".  Since I wear a rash guard top it's pretty inconspicuous.  I would think that would work well with your workouts as well.  I'd buy two so you don't have to wash it every day.

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:57 am

I've had my ileostomy for 10 yrs now. I swim all the time, and I exercise, I run with my dogs, so I get very sweaty. I do have to change a day sooner in the summer than the winter, but that's the only difference, and I live in Fl., so hot most of the year. I don't have any issues with it getting loose from the water. I use Coloplast Sensura Mio and I use a Coloplast Brava moldable seal, which keeps me sealed like super glue. I used tape at the beginning, but I found I didn't need any of those things. I guess it depends on what brand you use. Also, there is a brand called Cymed, that is advertised by a man that does Triathalons. I do use a barrier prep which helps keep my skin from irritation when I'm really running and sweating a lot. I change my bag about every 4th day

Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:01 am

I forgot this. When I run, especially at dog shows, I use compression pants under my regular pants. Partly for circulation and partly to keep my bag from moving while I run. When you go swimming or to the water park, maybe a small close fitting swim brief, with regular swim pants over it will help you keep secure. 

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:48 pm

Hey there,  just got back from the gym.  What works for me is not eating until after the workout,  Always put a new bag on the day or night before to help prevent accidents!  I went crazy on the stomach crunch machine and when  I got home noticed a leak.  So comon sense is necessary.  When I work out I'm weight training so I don't sweat much.  If all you're doing is cardio then limit how much you sweat or it will come off eventually.  I wear a belt that holds my Holister 2 piece on extra safe and sometimes I'll wear special undergarments made to hold a bag.  

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