Living with a stoma can bring about various challenges, both physical and emotional. However, walking is a great form of exercise; it’s good for the mind, body and soul!
In fact, there is nothing more enjoyable than getting wrapped up in the winter weather and stepping out into the frosty air to blow away the cobwebs. Having a stoma shouldn’t restrict you from enjoying the great outdoors, as walking is an exercise you can slowly build up over time or you can enjoy a longer walk to admire the winter scenery.
In this article, we will explore the numerous benefits of walking with a stoma and how it can contribute to a more fulfilling and active life.
Exercising after stoma surgery
If you have recently had stoma surgery, it would be wise to speak with your consultant before venturing out on long walks. You may feel very tired during the first six weeks after surgery, so always listen to your body and rest when you need to. It may be wise to start by walking round your home and garden for the first few weeks to gain confidence, before venturing outdoors fully. Just remember that when you’re out walking, you have the return journey also, so take it slow and steady and increase the distance week by week.
Start with walking regularly and on a daily basis. Walking will help regain muscle strength which may have been lost whilst having stoma surgery. Believe it or not, walking also helps prevent any issues with constipation!
If you are an avid walker and feel fitter to go further, don’t forget to take some water to keep hydrated and a piece of fruit or sandwich to keep your energy levels up. Make sure not to carry a heavy rucksack, which may put too much weight and strain on your abdominal area where you have had surgery. Take a friend or family member with you, then you can pace yourself together. Make sure you wrap up warm and wear appropriate footwear as it can be very slippery outdoors with the mud, frost and ice.
Our innovative healing Alginate stoma products are also a good choice at helping dry skin caused by cold weather.
The benefits of walking outdoors
- The first one is that it is free!
- Catching a glimpse of the winter sun helps boost your vitamin D levels
- A long brisk walk is as good as a run when it comes to lowering blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and weight loss.
- Walks in the country have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and raise self-esteem.
- Taking regular strolls can help with any joint problems because it is low impact and prevents stiffness and swelling.
- Walking aids in promoting healthy digestion
- Engaging in regular walks can boost self-esteem and confidence
- Physical activity, including walking, has been linked to better sleep quality
Incorporating walking into the daily routine can be a game-changer for individuals living with a stoma. The physical and mental health benefits are numerous, offering a path to wellness, confidence, and an improved quality of life. As with any exercise program, it’s advisable to consult with healthcare professionals to ensure that walking is a safe and beneficial activity for individual circumstances. Embracing the simple act of walking can be a positive step toward a healthier and more fulfilling life with a stoma.