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How to Exercise with an Ostomy Video

Laura Cox, LPC
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
03/10/15  5:39 PM PST

Watch our Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist, Laura Cox, in her video on how to exercise with an ostomy. In this video, Laura discusses how to get started exercising after surgery, the importance of staying hydrated and suggests which exercises are best. Please note that Laura has an ileostomy, so her tips may be geared towards her fellow ileostomates, although those with urostomies or colostomies may also find the tips helpful.

Why Exercise?

Exercising increases the release of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are responsible for boosting your mood and decreasing pain perception. Additionally, exercising is good for bone strength and cardiovascular health.

Exercise can be especially helpful during ostomy surgery recovery. The body movement helps to wake up your intestines and can shorten recovery time, assuming you take it slowly and follow your doctor’s directions.

Be sure that you speak with your doctor before starting any exercise routine — especially when you would like to begin exercising after surgery.

The best way to start – once you have your doctor’s approval – is to begin walking. This will help to build your endurance back up to where it was before surgery.

You can find more about exercising with an ostomy here.

If you are looking for specific simple exercise instructions for people who have had abdominal surgery, please check out this article on the Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association page.

More articles you may be interested in:

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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...

Recent OstomyLife


  1. Hi Laura, in your Exercising with An Ostomy video you showed three great yoga poses. Is there a particular yoga DVD you would recommend that incorporates these and/or an exercise DVD which is good for ostomates? Your videos here and on Ostomystory are so helpful. I look forward to more of them ☺

    1. Hi Christine! I’m so glad you find them helpful! I actually do yoga that I find on YouTube! My favorite YouTube Yogi is “Yoga with Adriene!” She is fantastic and also teaches meditation and all sorts of useful things! I hope you’re happy and healthy! 🙂

  2. Dear Laura, I want specific info about getting back to calisthenics post my ileostomy, and how much time and also I want to know that why did you not get yourself a j pouch. Thanks.

    1. Hi there. Laura is busy at the moment, but I can answer your questions. If you would like more information and specific instructions about starting calisthenics after ostomy surgery, we would recommend this page from the Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association: Exercises for Ostomates. As for how much time, we assume you’re asking how long you should wait after surgery before you begin exercising. Of course you should check with your doctor, but we would suggest gentle exercises like walking or swimming for the first three months after surgery, before expecting that your doctor may clear you to go back to the gym. As for why Laura does not have a j-pouch, I’ll paste in the answer she’s given to that question elsewhere: “There is still a possibility I will have reversal surgery when my life is a little more stable. I would not have minded living with a permanent ostomy, but in my mind, I don’t know what will be best until I try it. There is a lot of fear when I think about getting a reversal and possibly decreasing my current quality of life, but I am stuck in a bit of limbo as I was supposed to be reversed three months after my initial surgery – but now it’s been 7 years! If the reversal decreased my quality of life, I would ask for a permanent ostomy!” Hope those answers help and best of luck! -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

  3. Hi Laura. I have couples question. See I had Stage 4 Advanced bladder cancer. So they removed my bladder so they exchange with stoma. I did ileostmy surgery. So the cancer was on bladder neck. My couples of Question Since I don’t know any thing. Let say If I want to sex how I do it because my 1 it is not working the already cut everything. 2. The surgery was Last September. What kind of excercise do I do. 3. Some when I put the stoma I put dry with pest but let say when it rain or wait the paste don’t work Even I try the powder but if I put stoma glue won’t work. . 4. My last question so now around the stoma their rush. If I try to clean it will blood. Since After I did those one their community where I could talk see share Idea. Sorry I tell you every thing.

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