Physical Activity & Exercise

Empowering Your Body: Physical Activity and Exercise with a Colostomy


Embarking on a journey of physical activity and exercise after colostomy surgery is a testament to resilience and a commitment to overall well-being. While the prospect of incorporating fitness into life with a colostomy may seem challenging, it opens the door to a world of possibilities and empowerment. In this exploration of physical activity and exercise with a colostomy, we delve into the transformative potential of staying active, offering insights, tips, and encouragement for individuals navigating this unique aspect of post-colostomy life. Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just beginning your wellness journey, this guide aims to inspire confidence, dispel concerns, and pave the way for a vibrant and active lifestyle with a colostomy.

Staying Active and Fit

Staying active and maintaining physical fitness is a key component of a healthy lifestyle for individuals with a colostomy. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Consult with Your Healthcare Team: Before beginning or modifying your exercise routine, consult with your healthcare provider or NSWOC (Nurses specialized in wound Ostomy and continence). They can provide personalized recommendations and ensure that exercise aligns with your medical condition.

  • Choose Suitable Activities: Opt for activities that you enjoy and that suit your fitness level. Walking, swimming, cycling, and gentle yoga are excellent options for enhancing cardiovascular fitness and overall well-being.

  • Gradual Progression: Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This approach helps your body adapt and minimizes the risk of complications.

  • Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is vital, especially during physical activity. Drink water before, during, and after your workouts to prevent dehydration.

Overcoming Exercise Challenges

Physical activity with a colostomy may present some challenges, but with the right strategies, these can be overcome:

  • Pouch Management: Ensure your pouch is securely attached, and consider using a support belt or wrap to keep it in place during physical activity. Empty the pouch before engaging in vigorous exercise.

  • Nutrition and Timing: Plan your meals and snacks around your workout schedule. Eating a small meal or snack an hour before exercise can provide energy without causing digestive discomfort.

  • Hygiene and Skin Care: Pay attention to hygiene and skin care. Prevent chafing and irritation by wearing moisture-wicking clothing.

  • Supportive Products: Consider using specialized products designed for active individuals with ostomies, such as ostomy-specific athletic wear or supportive belts.

Sports and Physical Hobbies

Participating in sports and physical hobbies is not only possible but also enriching. Here are some key considerations:

  • Engage in a Variety of Activities: Explore different sports and hobbies, from swimming and hiking to dancing and golf. Finding activities that you are passionate about will make it easier to stay active.

  • Adaptive Equipment: Some sports may require adaptive equipment, such as belts, wraps, or special pouching systems designed for active individuals with ostomies. These can enhance comfort and security during physical activities.

  • Seek Guidance: If you’re unsure about engaging in a specific sport or activity, consider seeking guidance from experienced people living with an ostomy or joining ostomy support groups. Their insights and experiences can be valuable resources.


In conclusion, physical activity and exercise with a colostomy are essential for maintaining a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. By staying active, addressing exercise challenges, and pursuing sports and physical hobbies, you can lead a life of confidence and vitality with your colostomy. Remember that with the right support and adaptations, you can enjoy an active and adventurous lifestyle that’s tailored to your preferences and abilities.

Ostomy Canada Society Inc. is not an organization of medical professionals. The information provided on our website is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including your physician or a Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (NSWOC), before making any decisions about your health. Every individual’s medical condition is unique, and what may be suitable for one person may not be appropriate for another.

Ostomy Canada Society Inc. does not endorse or recommend specific medical treatments, procedures, products, or opinions mentioned on the website. Reliance on any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

If you have questions or concerns about your health, always seek the advice of a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on information obtained from our website.

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