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Outdoor Activities for Ostomates

No matter what the weather throws our way, it’s always nice to head outdoors for a breath of fresh air and some much-needed daily exercise.

In fact, there are so many benefits to exercising outdoors, including the anti-depressant effects of sunshine, the ever-changing terrain which mixes things up a little… and the fact it’s free to go outdoors. As an ostomate, as long as you make sure you’re well prepared, heading outside can be great for your health and wellbeing.

Whether you’ve just recovered from surgery or you’re an ostomate who wants to get out more, here’s a quick guide to getting prepared for outdoor adventures.

Stoma-friendly outdoor activities

There is no reason you can’t maintain an active and outdoor lifestyle with a stoma. You can enjoy walking, hiking, cycling, water activities and any other outdoor sports that you enjoy or want to try. Trying out new activities with a friend or group also adds a social element to outdoor exercise too.

Essential outdoor supplies

Ostomate or not, there are certain supplies that everyone needs to consider when heading outdoors to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Sun protection: Sun cream, sunglasses and hats are essential for protection yourself from the elements during those sunny summer months.

Supportive shoes: Good shoes protect the entire body from injury, especially when hiking or running.

Water: Dehydration is a common challenge for ostomates, especially those with an ileostomy. Remember to take enough water with you; a good rule of thumb is to sip 4 to 6 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes you’re outside.

Outdoor exercise in winter

When colder months come around, many enjoy the beautiful scenery and sights that winter has to offer. From frosty morning hikes to running in cool temperatures, winter provides a haven for those looking to get outside more.

However, cold weather can also cause havoc with dry skin, as winter weather can often zap the skin of moisture. This can lead to issues with peristomal skin, but there are plenty of ways to avoid issues with dry skin. Discover more in our stoma advice guide for cold weather.

Outdoor exercise during summer

Summer and sunshine gives us all an extra boost of energy, as hot weather offers the perfect excuse to get out there and soak up some vitamin-D. However, as an ostomate, there are a few things to watch out for.

Be aware of in hotter conditions that you might have to change your appliances more frequently. However, if you’re noticing that your wear times have been significantly reduced, speak to a stoma nurse regarding alternatives. By ensuring that your bag is fitted correctly, you can reduce any irritation caused by the moisture from perspiration being trapped between your stoma bag and skin.

If you’re already quite an active person and you’re not completely comfortable with how your pouch feels when you’re trying to enjoy your favourite hobbies then there are a few things that you could try.

You could try wearing a smaller pouch, which would reduce the amount of obstruction that you experience. For sporty activities, we would recommend trying out a stoma bag from our Primo range.

The Primo range features a high tack adhesion, which can help to provide you with much needed extra security and a peace of mind. You might also be interested in trying out our Microskin products. This range is extra flexible, making it perfect for activities such as swimming and walking.

Stay hydrated

As with any physical activity, the key is to stay well-hydrated.

This is even more important for ostomates, who should aim to drink slightly more water than other people. You’ve probably heard the advice old advice “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day”. This is a good number to aim for and you can reach this by drinking water, non-caffeine herbal tea and natural fruit juices.

Some people find that the best way to make sure that they are drinking enough is to use a large water bottle. Keep note of how many of them you have consumed during the day.

Preparation is key

The main thing to remember is that, with the right preparation, everything should be fine. Just be sure to remember to pack extra supplies and if you’re staying somewhere away from home (like when going on a camping trip), try to be close to a toilet. This will simply make things easier if changing or going to the toilet in the middle of the night.

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