Exercising with an ostomy
Note: Check with your doctor or your Wound, Ostomy, Continence (WOC) Nurse before you start or increase your exercise activities. What is good for one person may may be too much for someone else.
This is a paid blog post sponsored by Coloplast
Q: How do you keep the pouch securely attached even when you sweat a lot? How about when you swim?
I always use an elastic mesh band to keep the bag tight to the body. I use this 24/7 and it comes in handy especially when I am running, as it keeps the bag in place. To manage the sweat, I make sure to change the ostomy barrier often. When training or racing in hot conditions, I always use Coloplast Brava® Elastic Barrier Strips for protection to give that extra layer of security and ensures my barrier stays put.
When I swim in the pool, I use a pair of regular swimming trunks and a neoprene belt to keep the bag tight to my body and to avoid water pressure on the bag as well as to minimize the drag.
Q: Do you carry any emergency ostomy supplies with you when you are exercising? If so, how do you manage to do so conveniently and discreetly? What do you take with you? How and where do you carry it?
In daily training, no! I used to do so on bike rides in the first years after my surgery, but now I am so confident in SenSura® Mio and Brava Accessories, that I do not find it necessary. Back then, I carried an emergency kit in a small plastic bag with a spare barrier, bag, cleaning cloths etc. This would fit in the back pocket on my bike jersey. Today I usually just have a kit in my bag when going to the gym or swimming. The only place I now always keep backup kits is in triathlon races, where I have a spare kit in each transition zone, but I do not carry one with me on the course.
Q: Are some sports and movements more difficult with an ostomy than others? Which ones are the hardest and which are the easiest and why?
A: I have never thought that my ostomy limits my ability to run, swim, or bike- or make any of my body movements more difficult for that matter! I can do all the strength exercises that I want. The only exception would be what I do when I swim. I wear this extra neoprene belt to keep the bag secure-as mentioned before. I have played soccer and hockey a couple of times and it was not an issue. I can’t speak for somebody who competes on a regular basis in these sports though
Q: Does the exercise affect your digestion rate? If so, how? Do you need to prepare or plan in any special way for that?
Yes, definitely. Running can especially speed up my digestive system; but cycling does not affect it in the same way. When I swim, my digestion is affected if I swallow too much water that can cause gas. To help manage my digestion, I always pay attention to what and when I eat prior to a training session because I want to empty a full bag right before I start to avoid having to stop and empty a full bag during my training.
Q: What’s your “#1” most motivational song to train/work out to?
A: Absolutely simple answer: A remix of the classic millennium hit Toca’s Miracle called “Toca's Beautiful Strawberry Fields (Master Class Alliance)”. This tune is the sound of summer and has a nice steady rhythm useable for both spinning/trainer and running.