Sports and Exercise
You should begin walking in moderation after your surgery and do this regularly, every day after you get home. Walking stimulates the return of bowel function and will get you back on the road to regaining the muscle you lost while in hospital. Whatever sports you may have played in the past, you can enjoy them again with few exceptions. If you have questions – ask your NSWOC. It is imperative to know that you cannot jump back into training or exercise at the same level you left. You must refrain from heavy stress on your core during the weeks following surgery. Unless you had laparoscopic surgery, your abdominal muscles would have weakened by incisions and require adequate healing time. Improper lifting or lifting too heavy a weight too soon could cause a hernia.
Avoid all lifting, including laundry hampers and vacuums, for those first few weeks. Introduce light loads gradually and carefully. Still, it would help if you avoided abdominal exercises for a while and then only introduced these in gradual, gentle amounts.
Stomas are reasonably hardy, but some common sense rules apply. You may want to wear a hernia belt as a precaution while engaging in strenuous sports. Ostomates engaged in contact sports should consider wearing a stoma guard and, if desired, an abdominal/surgical support belt as well. A stoma guard is similar in function to a male athletic cup and is held in place with an ostomy belt. Abdominal/surgical support belts aren’t ‘belts’ per se, but like wearing armor and can boost confidence if you’re anxious about being bumped.
The main danger to a stoma during strenuous sports is being cut or lacerated. Because the stoma itself has no nerve endings, you can be injured without knowing it. Causes of stomal laceration include shifting of the wafer, too small an opening, and rigid items too close to it. You don’t want to overdo things, but stomas can withstand a bit of rough and tumble.
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