We all need physical activity to stay healthy, but if you are living with an ostomy, you may feel as though you are limited in what you can do. The good news is that those with ostomies can do almost everything in terms of sports, exercise, and physical activity. People with ostomies participate in swimming, skiing, weightlifting, running, and many other sports.
People with ostomies may be recommended to avoid certain activities – like contact sports – because of safety concerns (such as injury caused to the stoma from a heavy impact); however, special equipment may also be available to help you mitigate this risk. It is important, therefore, to talk to your health team about any concerns you may have about a specific activity.
For example, a person with a tracheostomy may have more restrictions on the types of activities that they can do – particularly with activities involving water. A special guard for the stoma may be required to block harmful particles or objects from entering it.
The following tips are for those with ostomies who would like to engage in physical activity and how they can make it safer and more comfortable. For specific advice, however, it is recommended that you consult with your physician or health care team.
With an ostomy, it may take you some extra time to find some workout clothing that works for you. Depending on the location of the stoma, you may feel more comfortable wearing a longer shirt or pants or shorts that have a higher waistband.
Swimming or water activities
As mentioned, those with a tracheostomy should speak to their healthcare provider before engaging in water activities, as extra precautions may be needed. For those with abdominal ostomies, there are pouching systems can be used.
If swimming with an abdominal ostomy, remember the following points:
- You may leave on your support ostomy belt if you wish.
- Waterproof tape may be used for added protection.
- Empty your pouch before swimming and eat lightly.
- When choosing a swimsuit, remember that a busy pattern or darker colours may help to disguise the pouching system. For women, a well-placed fringe or ruffle can also help hide the ostomy, and for men, trunks with longer legs and a higher waistband can help to hide the ostomy.
Whether you enjoy luxury vacations or going camping, having an ostomy should not prevent you from travelling the way you like. There are, however, a few tips to keep in mind:
- Know what your limitations are, if any.
- Ensure that you have enough supplies packed – plus a few extra just in case (especially if your supplies won’t be easy to replace where you are going). You may bring along some sealable plastic bags for disposal.
- Do research ahead of time to find out where you can purchase more ostomy supplies if you need them.
- If you are travelling by plane, bring a note from your doctor that says you must carry some of your ostomy supplies in your carry-on to avoid hassles at luggage inspections.
- Be aware of any additional coverage you may need on your travel insurance.
While additional precautions may be needed for certain activities, having an ostomy should not prevent you from living a full and active life.
Contact Brant Arts today
Did you know that Brant Arts carries a full range of ostomy supplies, and our knowledgeable pharmacy team can help answer your questions? Shop ostomy supplies online or contact us today to learn more.