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October 4, 2016

#OSTOFIT – Ostomy Fitness Tips to Help You Lead an Extraordinary Life (w/video)

A fitness regime is essential to bouncing back from any major medical procedure. Some of you had already been leading a healthy and fit lifestyle prior to your colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy. For you, it may be easier to get back on track, literally. Others may not have the same advantage coming out of their surgery. Many of you fall somewhere in the middle. Whichever the case, adopting a more fit lifestyle will be the key to not only physical and mental recovery, it can evolve you to be even stronger and healthier not only when compared to your former self, but when you stand next to the rest of the population. Let’s take a look at what it will take to make you the person you’ve always wanted to be, ostomy or no ostomy.

4 Fitness Tips to Help Those Living with an Ostomy Become Stronger, Leaner, Faster, and Healthier


Warm-Up Your Body Post-Procedure

Your fitness training can be intense, exhausting, and downright grueling. You can put your Crossfit fanatical neighbor to utter shame with your program. However, if you’ve recently had your procedure, hold off on the dumbbell burpees and medicine ball lunges. You need to recover.

Listen to your physician when it comes to post-operation recovery. You have a new opening in your body for goodness sake. You have to let the scar tissue surrounding your wound heal, and allow your abdomen muscles to bounce back from any atrophy that may have set in. Once you’ve been given the thumbs-up, consult with a physiotherapist and a fitness trainer/specialist experienced in working with post-surgery recovery. Both can guide you in the right direction and can become an integral part of your return to, or rebirth as, an über-fit individual.

Rebuild Your Core

#OSTOFIT - Ostomy Fitness Tips - Side Plank to rebuild your core.Given that an ostomy occurs at the abdomen area, your core fitness will have been seriously impacted. It’s true that anyone partaking in a fitness plan should concentrate on their core, but for someone living with an ostomy, this is especially imperative. Your introductory exercises should focus on rebuilding your core. Important exercises will include abdominal curls and oblique curls in addition to abdominal and pelvic floor work. This pdf guide will provide some guidance, but remember that proper form will make or break your success here. Allow your fitness consultant to dictate technique if you have no prior experience with the exercises.

Swimming is also a great way to rebuild and maintain your core after receiving an ostomy. We know what you may be thinking. Swimming with an ostomy bag? Darn right! Don’t let any trepidation about swimming with an ostomy get in the way of one of the most effective forms of core fitness. Once your core strength begins to return you can add running and jogging to your efforts.

Partake in Weight Training

In order to build lean muscle mass you will need to add weight training to your plan. And yes, you most certainly can lift weights with an ostomy. If you’ve allowed your body adequate time to recover and began rebuilding your core with the assistance of a physiotherapist and trainer, you can get back to the gym by beginning with light to moderate calisthenics. Referencing this pdf guide for basic calisthenics is a good place to start. Once you’re more comfortable using your own body weight in pulling (i.e. pull-ups) and pushing (i.e. push-ups) motions you will be prepared to hit the weights. As with anyone beginning in, or returning to, the weight room, start with light dumbbells and cables and machines until you’re ready to take on heavier weight in the forms of heavier dumbbells and bars that are loaded with weight. With strict form and technique, you will be well on your way to building lean muscle mass. Don’t believe you can weight train, just watch at Blake Beckford, fitness expert living with an ostomy for a little inspiration:

Outfit Your Diet with Fitness-Focused Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements are absolutely essential to living with an ostomy. There are common vitamin and mineral deficiencies that you need to account for. That covers the bare minimum. But if you’re serious about getting in the best shape of your life, you will need a nutrition plan that will get you there. That begins with a balanced diet (complex carbohydrates, proteins, essential fatty acids) of nutrient-rich foods. But food alone isn’t enough to turn you into the physical machine you’re destined to become. That’s where supplements come into play. Consult with your physician and nutritionist first. Then, under their guidance, add a consistent regime of multi-vitamin, protein, and EFA supplementation to your daily diet. Nutritional supplements for those living with an ostomy can be found here.

You’re on your way to leading a more fit lifestyle that will help you evolve into a physically and mentally stronger person. InnerGood has pledged to do all that we can to support you along the way. For ostomy-conscious fitness clothing and accessories we encourage you to visit our ostomy products page in the coming months (we are curating the very best sporting apparel from around the world). Do you have any #ostofit suggestions of your own? We’d love to hear from you! Follow InnerGood on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let’s connect.

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2 Replies to “#OSTOFIT – Ostomy Fitness Tips to Help You Lead an Extraordinary Life (w/video)”

  1. My Step Father is an avid marathoner and will have a colostomy in July. We know that it will take time (potentially years) before he can resume this level of activity. Neither of us are that familiar with the workings of ostomy bags and the logistics of running a 4+/- hour run with one. Could you please illuminate me, or direct me to somewhere, that can help answer what that looks like in the 24 hours before the race, the hours during the race, and the 2-3 hours post race might look like? Is there special procedures or equipment needed? I’m sorry, i am 100% ignorant but i’m trying to learn. Thank you.

    1. Hi Dalton,

      Thanks for your question. We think you would do well by talking to the folks at Stealth Belt. Here’s a link to their website:

      We’ve spoken to Collin Jarvis in the past and he is a competitive distance runner and an ostomate. He would be a perfect person to ask for advice once your Step Father has recovered from surgery.

      Feel free to contact us regarding medical supplies and vitamins as well should you ever have questions.

      Thanks again for reaching out.

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