OstomyLife Community

Exercising with an Ostomy | Products That Can Help

Laura Cox, LPC
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
07/06/16  12:13 PM PST
Exercising with an Ostomy

I was very active before my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and my ostomy surgery. After surgery I was so worried about pushing myself too hard that I didn’t let myself do the things that I loved. After doing a little bit of research about products that would help keep me healthy while exercising with an ostomy, and getting a pep talk from my colorectal surgeon, I started backpacking, running, hiking, rock climbing, biking, weight training, swimming and boogie boarding!

There are different products that can help protect your stoma, prevent peristomal hernias and secure your pouch while swimming or doing activities that may cause the pouch to flap. Here, we discuss the product options used in different situations.

Protecting the Stoma

If the stoma is at risk of being rubbed up against or exposed to blunt force it’s a good idea to use a stoma guard. Some ideal sports to use a stoma guard for are: football, soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.

Exercising with an Ostomy

My favorite stoma guard is the Freedom Guard GTX by Stomaplex. I use it for boogie boarding, backpacking, ice skating and rock climbing.

Abdominal Support

If the abdominal muscles are being utilized, it’s a good idea to use a hernia belt or some sort of support-wear. Many people love the NuHope Hernia Support Belts. I like to use Spanx.

Exercising with an Ostomy

I use Spanx (buyer beware, they are tight and may inhibit ostomy output if the output is thick, though I have never had a problem) for weight training, obstacle races and on a daily basis. Ask your doctor or surgeon before engaging in any sort of weight baring exercises after surgery.


Securing the Ostomy

If the ostomy pouch will be a disturbance if it is flapping around, it is suggested you use a Stealth Belt or Spanx.


Exercising with an Ostomy

The Spanx can be used here, as well as the Stealth Belt, Compression Shirts/Shorts, Spandex bike shorts or a belly band. I’ve used these products while running, biking, swimming, etc.

Getting the Pouch Wet

If the ostomy pouch will be getting wet, you have a few options. It’s not necessary to have any additional products, but you can use a stealth belt, pink tape, barrier extenders or Sure Seal (which is one of my personal favorites).

Exercising with an Ostomy

I’ve used these options for kayaking, boogie boarding, snorkeling and swimming laps in the pool.

More Information

If you’re interested in more information on exercising with an ostomy, we have an article and a video that go into more detail.

For more information, see related ostomy product and exercise articles and other ostomy resources here:

Shield HealthCare | Stronger with Shield

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
Dear Laura, I wear a two piece ostomy bag. I need help with concealing an ostomy bag. When I move around my shirt hikes up and the tip of the bag peeks out from under my shirt.
Hi Tom, I have a few suggestions that may help!
First, I'm wondering if a stealth belt would be a good option for you. This is a black belt that you can conveniently tuck your pouch...



  1. Sandy R.
    Posted October 18, 2016 at 9:11 am PDT

    Interested in exercise videos for ostomates

  2. Aimee Sharp
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm PDT

    Hi Sandy! Thanks for commenting. Here is our video about exercising for ostomates. Hope you find it helpful! -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

  3. Cindy B.
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm PST

    Thank you SO Much for Sharing your experience with “the bag”! I wear mine different than how you have yours, which makes yours easy for toilet disposal. I also had never heard of putting anything but lukewarm water in my bag. Or guard for my stoma. I love my life without colitis! And do not mind the bag but I have not been able to be intimate as of yet. Besides the bag I have the most awful scar because they had to open me up twice.

    Again, Thank you! Thank you!

  4. Stuart w.
    Posted November 6, 2018 at 8:15 am PST

    Hi I’m in the UK I’ve looked st your video on swimming & want to go in the pool but I want s bit of security & see you recommend Sure Seal is there something similar I can get in the UK as it seams that the Sure Seal is only available in the USA or Canada
    Thank you for your time

  5. Aimee Sharp
    Posted December 13, 2018 at 3:55 pm PST

    Hi Stuart. Thank you for your comment. We’re sorry to hear that you are unable to get Sure Seal in the UK. We actually did a more recent article all about having more security in the pool, and hopefully one of the suggested products is something that is available where you are. Best of luck! -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

  6. Jack D.
    Posted January 11, 2019 at 4:19 pm PST

    I am new to the illiostomy world, of which I finally have accepted! However I still get POd of having to live with it…. My main problem issue is the Car Seat belt, it presses right to the bag and I feel hurting pressure on Stoma….What are some methods of relief? Thanks…

  7. Aimee Sharp
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:20 pm PST

    Hi Jack. Great question! Laura wrote an article that should address your question about seat belts, and we hope you find it helpful. Best of luck, and please let us know if you have any other questions! -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

  8. Josh L.
    Posted January 27, 2019 at 8:48 am PST

    Thank you for the article. I just received my stoma 15 days ago after being in a UC flare for 13 months. I’m healing quick and am starting to get restless (been home bound for a year now) but I’m nervous about causing a hernia. This article helped put those worries to rest and gave me a good place to start. I realize I still need to take it slow, but I’m not so nervous as to not even try now. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  9. Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:06 am PDT

    I have a urinary Miami
    Pouch!!!any one else had experience with them?????????

  10. Samantha M.
    Posted March 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm PDT

    Well I have my surgery on Tuesday to get a ostomy bag and I am worried I wont be me anymore I just hope my crohns pain will go away so I can workout again and lose all this extra weight

  11. Muriel
    Posted October 1, 2021 at 12:41 pm PDT

    When you used a spanx did you cut a hole to go around your ostomy ring so that the spanx won’t cause a leak under the flange. I would wear it for exercise and hernia prevention.

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