Exercise and training with an ostomy

swimming with an osotmy

Exercising and training with an ostomy

Life with an ostomy doesn’t mean a life without exercise. Our blogger, ostomate and Ironman, Morten Sommer, shares tips for exercising and training with ostomy. Read more

Exercising with an ostomy: Q&A

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.


Out of the bag with Stephanie Hughes

Stephanie Hughes, author of the blog Stolen Colon, was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when she was 13 years old. As a guest blogger for Coloplast, Stephanie gives her take on living life with an ostomy- everything from exercise, daily life, and even becoming a new mom. 

Ostomy bag options

Ostomy bag options

From one piece to two piece, click to flex, there are many ostomy bag solutions available. Stephanie gives her review of the differences between the different ostomy bags and the features and benefits that may benefit you. Read review

Different ostomy bag options- what's the difference?

The following post was written by Coloplast blogger Stephanie Hughes. Stephanie was compensated and given free product samples 

I am very excited to have the opportunity to partner with Coloplast in looking at some of the options available for those of us living with an ostomy. These days, we have a wide selection of ostomy pouches available than in years past. It’s awesome that there are so many new products available! But it also means there are a lot of choices, and especially for new ostomates, it can be a little overwhelming. So, I wanted to look specifically at the differences between a one and a two-piece ostomy bag systems and why someone might decide to choose one option over the other. Here’s a quick breakdown:


One-piece ostomy bag: The one-piece system includes the bag and wafer already connected. It is a great option because it is simple and all-inclusive, so you don’t have to account for more than one piece. It sits close to the body and is easy to conceal under clothing because of its low profile. The only things to consider are if you select a cut-to-fit barrier, you do have to pay extra attention so that you don’t cut the bag. These are also a little more difficult to line up around the stoma, since you are unable to see exactly where you are placing it. However, the SenSura® Mio now has a transparent piece you can look through to help you better line up the wafer! (Sample used: SenSura® Mio 1 piece)

Two-piece ostomy bag: I am going to look at two options for two-piece bags. The first is the two-piece click. It consists of a wafer with a ring on it that snaps into place with a ring on the bag. It comes with an extra lock to make sure it is secure. They are easy to place, since the wafer is separate from the bag. You also have the option of taking the bag off of the wafer, even after the wafer has been placed. You can change out the bag without removing the wafer, which is especially useful for those who like using a smaller, closed-ended bag that does not have the option of being emptied. You can twist the bag around the ring, which makes it easy to change the direction of the opening. Something to be aware of if considering the two-piece click is that the ring is a bit rigid. For those who are very active or prefer to sleep on their stomach, it could be uncomfortable.  It also does stick slightly farther off the belly and some people may find it a little more difficult to conceal under clothing. (Sample used: SenSura® Mio Click)


The final option is the two-piece flex, which is exclusively available from Coloplast. This one includes a separate wafer and bag that sticks together through an adhesive on the bag. Like the two-piece click, it is easy to place, as you can line it up with your stoma before adhering to the bag. The wafer is very flexible, which is great for active ostomates. It is also very easy to hide under clothing, since it lays flat against the stomach. It also has the option to remove the bag, while leaving the wafer in place, however, it does not have the same option to change the direction of the bag as the click system does. I have heard concerns from others wondering if the seal is secure enough that output will not leak through. This is the system that I personally use, and from my experience, this is not something I have had any issue with. The seal is very secure and will only pull apart if you are intentionally doing so. (Sample used: SenSura® Mio Flex)


So as you can see, there are a lot of great options. My best recommendation is to give all of them a try! You can get free samples of each and figure out what works best for you. (In fact, you can order some right here.) We all have different bodies, different ostomies and different things that we prefer, so know that what works for one person may not work the same for you. That’s why it’s great to be able to give all options a try.


Click here to order your free SenSura Mio samples

More about Stephanie

More about Stephanie

At the age of 13, Stephanie Hughes was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Several years later, she underwent surgery and received a permanent ostomy. Writer, blogger, and triathlete, Stephanie blogs about how ostomy surgery has helped her rediscover-and discover- new passions. Read more

Headline text

"My name is Stephanie Hughes and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1999, when I was 13 years old.

After years of dealing with painful and embarrassing symptoms, on May 7, 2012, I had my colon removed and was given a permanent ostomy.

The decision to go through with this surgery was a difficult one for me. For as long as I can remember, my mantra was “anything but surgery.” But after 5 hospitalizations between October 2011 and April 2012, I began to realize that while surgery was not something I WANTED to do, continuing on the path I was on was something I COULDN’T do..."


Read Stephanie's full blog post and more at stolencolon.com


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