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As you recover from surgery, you may feel tired and not interested in exercising much, if at all. But it’s important for your health and well-being to start moving around.
Even a little exercise can help you recover from surgery faster. It may also prevent potential complications that can arise from sitting or lying down too much. The exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous either. In fact, you should take it easy. Start out slowly and enjoy the feeling of getting back into a routine.
Trouble feeling motivated? Try getting a friend involved. When you know someone is waiting to join you for a walk around the block or a round of golf, you’re instantly energised. This kind of exercise can benefit your social life as well as your body.
Let’s start with a few exercise options that will start you on your journey back to fitness and health:
This is the easiest and most effective form of exercise. Walking benefits you by:
Walking can be started soon after surgery and you can gradually add minutes and distance over time.
You can even walk in the house. Listen to some invigorating music to help set the pace. Some people walk up and down stairs to increase stamina and endurance. If weather permits, a walk outside in the fresh air can do wonders, both physically and mentally.
Riding your bike is a great activity for several reasons:
If you have a perineal wound, however, you should start with a different form of exercise. This area can take a long time to heal and sitting on a bike seat may be uncomfortable. Walking is a better option, at least until the wound has fully healed.
Swimming may be the best exercise option of all. Some people shy away from the water after ostomy surgery, but there’s no reason to do that. Get more information in our article about swimming with a stoma.
Other favourite activities
You might enjoy other aerobic activities such as skating, jogging or tennis. Training with light weights and frequent repetitions can be beneficial as well. You’ll be able to get back to these activities soon enough.
Pay attention to how your body responds. You know it better than anyone else. If an activity makes you breathless or causes you pain anywhere, it’s best to do something else. Or at least take a break and return to it later, if you feel you are up to it.
View or print the full PDF booklet: Living with an Ostomy: Sports & Fitness.
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