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Working Out After Ostomy

Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 6:25 pm

Had permanent colostomy February 9 this year, now it has been almost 3 months and I am wanting to get back into working out.

Before my surgery the surgeon told me there would be basically no restrictions on my activity, but now I am hearing that I can't lift more than about 15 lbs for the rest of my life or I risk a hernia! An ostomy nurse also told me that I should be careful doing sit-ups or basically anything that uses the rectus abdominus muscle. That's not cool. I'm not even sure what weight training exercises are safe for me. I would want to do squats, bench press, and chin ups for starters. Anybody out there that has been there done that? What exercises do I need to be careful with?

Also looking at the Nu-Hope hernia belts, anyone own one of these and have any experience with being able to increase the amount you can lift by wearing a support belt?

Thanks!

Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 10:31 pm

The support belt DOES help. However (for me) it led to my stoma trying to turn itself inside out - not much, but definitely bigger than before I exercised, (I took my little finger and gently pushed it all back into shape.) I understand there is a kind of strap that you can get on the belt to prevent that - I haven't tried one of those yet.

Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 11:24 pm

I've had an Ileostomy since March 1989, and two follow up surgeries.  My last was about 7 years ago, May 9, 2009.  

Yes, the belts do help most of us.  I've gotten back into sit-ups, yet at 72, I'm more comfortable with bouncing on one of Dave Hall's "Easy Bounce Cellerciser" units.  Folds up easily for travel, & exercises every cell in the entire body.  Google it, or call 800.856.4863.

One Ileostomate Ironman Triathelete spoke at the United Ostomy Association of America National Conference in 2004. His biggest challenge during the Ironman was that he to stop and find a pin, to relieve the gas build up in his bag.  

The biggest thing is to begin SLOWLY, and increase SLOWLY and find a Sports Physitian to work with you.  Good Luck.  Bruce

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 5:34 pm

Hi Bruce, I had my surgery about 18 months ago, it resulted in a permanent end colostomy. After getting over the initial shock I began to worry about hernia. I began wearing comfizz supports, they are virtually invisible and quite comfortable but more importantly give me the confidence to play golf and not worry about herniating. 
I vidited my Dr a few months ago and when he saw it he said "do you have a hernia"? I said no, I wear it to prevent a hernia, he said good idea he said they do that as a matter of course in USA
Good luck,
Doug

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 6:18 pm

I use the  Nu-Hope hernia belt, the 4" one, really like it.....about 8 months out of surgery and no problems....It seems like I'm always lifting crap....built a pole fence 2 months after the op...like a dumb s**** carried a window air conditioner down flight of stairs....loading the trailer with 5 gallon gas cans, once in a while I will latch on to something and feel alittle twinge.... I do sit ups and legs lift every morning along with other streching excerises...still no problem, I don't think you can lift more with it but it may prevent a hernia in the future....also one benefit I found is the skin barrier last longer for me if I wear the belt....when I first started it was a 3 day deal...now I change it out once a week and sometimes go longer....

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 6:29 pm

I was also told there would be no restrictions on exercising but to be sure I wore support over my stoma.  After about 3 months, I started back to the routine I was used to doing before my surgery.  I wore very tight spandex shape wear along with tight bike shorts. Of course, now I do have a hernia.  I do wear a NuHope hernia belt all waking hours now unless my pants are tight enough across my belly not to need it.  I do not do sit-ups any longer.  I wish someone had urged me to wear a hernia belt from the start to possibly keep this from happening.  My hernia is not big enough to need surgery, but it just sucks that I have it and cannot do any abdominal exercises.

  Past Member
Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 9:38 pm

I started going back after like 2-3 months out of surgery. I had a total collectomy, temporay ileostomy created and a J-pouch created in one sitting. I don't know how to to do restrictions so I went back and did what I could until it hurt. I hit the punching bag, shot some baskets and did weights. The punching bag and basketball were way too much. I was ok doing weights as long as it was mostly upper body. After 6-7 months now, I can now do half court basketball wearing the Hollister belt and an Ostomysecrets belt I bought (basically just a spandex belt that has a little pouch to hold your bag.I have been doing more weight on my upper body. I can do situps now (no leg lifts, those really hurt my stomach muscles) and also can almost jog now. Running has been really hard for me to do. I have most of my speed back (i'm 36) but the coordination is coming back slower than I thought.

My surgeon never mentioned anything about a hernia. Where is the hernia likely to happen? The stomach muscles or around the stoma or what?

Posted: Mon May 09, 2016 10:21 pm

Hi again,  I have the nu hope belt love them.  I order a special size and use the one that breathes for working out.   I am a runner, half and full marathon and.5k.  Call them they are very helpful.   I fell like and look like Im not evening wearing a wafer and pouch.  Hope this helps take care. 

  CH
Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 11:11 am

Hello...I am new to this site but I see that you're also in Lexington...I too am looking for others who are experiencing the same thing I am...have had my colostomy since October of 2014 and do very well for the most part. If you're interested in "comparing notes" I'd love to communicate! Blessings-CH

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