Do you love to play tennis or golf? Think there’s nothing better than jogging, yoga or going for a swim? That’s great! Having a stoma should not prevent you from staying fit.
With your healthcare professional's permission, you can return to most sports and activities you enjoyed before your surgery. The only possible exceptions are contact sports (such as boxing, wrestling or football) because of injury risk to the stoma from a severe blow.
People living with a stoma include competitive distance runners, weightlifters, skiers, swimmers and many other amateur and professional athletes. And if you didn’t exercise before your surgery, there’s no time like the present to start.
Here are a few tips for resuming exercise and other physical activities:
One man who has taken post-stoma fitness to heart is Rob Hill. Rob went from barely being able to make it up a flight of stairs, to becoming the first Crohn's disease/stoma patient to climb the Seven Summits (the highest mountain peaks on each continent) in just eight years1.
Over the next year and a half, Rob's condition worsened. His weight plummeted — from 185 pounds to his lightest recorded weight of 105 — and it became clear that his large intestine needed to be removed. "When it came down to losing my colon or losing my life, it wasn't a hard decision to make," he says. Eight years after his life-changing surgery, Rob decided to challenge the social stigma surrounding intestinal diseases and living with an ostomy.