A lot of people who use stoma bags are discouraged from physical exercise because they either think the bag will burst or that it’ll be damaged. Well, we’re here to tell you that that won’t happen. Not if you follow our quick easy to follow guide. We’ve made it our mission to encourage people with stoma bags to get back out there and do what they love. And what we’d like to start with is running. Running is a fantastic way of getting into great shape. Not only does it build up the muscle in your legs and shred body fat, it strengthens you mentally. Ever heard of runner’s high? Running long distances releases what’s called dopamine into your brain. Dopamine is basically the chemical in your mind that makes you happy. We want to let everyone experience this high. If you’re stuck with a stoma bag and think your chance at running is over, think again. Let’s jump right into it.
First of all, you can’t run without the right gear. In the same way that you need running shoes rather than sandals, you need specific appliances for your stoma bag. For example, you can get mounts and straps that will secure the stoma bag effectively against your side. If you find that the bag irritates your skin you can buy various creams and ointments designed to reduce or even eradicate any irritation. We recommend you combine an ostomy belt with an ostomy pouch. Many people find that they work great for running. They also make everything very discreet and have been known to raise the runner’s confidence. A lot of this gear you can use for simply walking around too. A lot of people like to power walk, and in many ways, that’s just as good as running. You will also need to make sure you have proper clothing as well. Improper clothing may rub the bag the wrong way. It may get caught up with the movement and tear something you don’t want to tear. We recommend you do both. Proper clothing and an ostomy belt and pouch.
It is very important for ostomy runners to eat healthily and stay very hydrated. It’s well known in the medical community that ostomy patients suffer from a large array of vitamin deficiencies. This means if they don’t eat properly, chances are running may cause severe medical problems. It’s also important to stay very hydrated. Dehydration not only makes it harder to run but can lead to serious medical complications.
If you’re going to get into running with an ostomy bag, you need to make sure you reduce how gassy you are. If you’re gassy, the risk of bursting your ostomy bag goes up significantly. The number one way to reduce gas is to avoid eating certain foods. The major two are beans and dairy. Beans like lima beans, kidney beans, and others are a large source of gas, so cutting those out is a good idea. The same goes for dairy. Cheese, ice cream, and other rich sources of dairy can be gas inducing. The best way to go about this part is by acting as though you’re lactose intolerant. Just instead of having severe diarrhea and stomach aches, your ostomy bag will burst. Other foods you should avoid include apples, cabbage, and broccoli.
Do keep in mind that one of the best ways to go about running, in general, is to just stay in really good shape. This means doing a wide array of exercises rather than just running. For more information on running with a stoma bag, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll do our absolute best to answer each and every one of your questions. For questions pertaining to your specific medical situation, please refer to your family doctor or a trusted general practitioner. Stoma bags can make life difficult, but if you take the appropriate precautions and preparatory steps, you’ll be just fine. We hope this article helped you figure out the best way to get your runner’s high on with a stoma bag. Do keep in mind that if you experience a stoma bag burst while running you need to see a medical professional immediately.