Living with a stoma can present a range of challenges, but it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying leisure activities such as swimming. Swimming is not only a fun activity, but it is also a great way to stay fit and healthy. Here’s what you need to know about swimming with a stoma.
Types of Stoma Bags and Which are Suitable for Swimming
There are different types of stoma bags, each with its own set of features and benefits. Some bags are suitable for swimming, while others are not. One-piece bags are low profile and almost unnoticeable under swimwear. If you use a two-piece system, you may put on a smaller bag or even choose a closed bag in case you normally use a drainable bag with a bottom outlet. These bags are designed to protect the skin from moisture and leaks, and they provide a secure fit that won’t come loose in the water.
Preparing for a Swim with a Stoma
Before hitting the pool, it’s important to properly prepare. Here are a few tips to make your swimming experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible:
- Check your stoma bag for any signs of damage or wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.
- Apply skin barrier or adhesive paste around the base of the bag to create a tight seal and prevent leaks.
- Make sure your bag is securely attached to your skin, and wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid any pressure on the bag.
- Bring extra bags and supplies with you, in case of any leaks or malfunctions.
- Make sure you wait a least one hour before going into the water, as the appliance must have fully adhered to the skin beforehand.
- Use Adapted Ostomy Swimwear that will help to hold your ostomy bag and also disguise it.
Tips for Swimming with a Stoma
- Start slowly, with short swims at first and gradually increase the duration of your swims as you feel more comfortable.
- Avoid diving or jumping into the water, as this can put pressure on the stoma and cause a leak.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting swimwear, as this can put pressure on the stoma and cause discomfort.
- Avoid swimming in bodies of water with sharp rocks, rocks, or debris that can damage your stoma bag.
Staying Comfortable and Confident While Swimming with a Stoma
Living with a stoma can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying leisure activities such as swimming. By properly preparing and following these tips, you can stay comfortable and confident while swimming with a stoma.
Swimming is a great way to stay active, relieve stress, and enjoy the summer months. With the right preparation and precautions, you can make the most of your time in the water and enjoy all the benefits that come with swimming.
Benefits of Swimming with a Stoma
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that offers a range of benefits, especially for those living with a stoma. Here are a few of the benefits you can enjoy by taking a dip in the pool:
- Improved Cardiovascular Health: Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout that can help improve your heart health and overall fitness.
- Reduced Stress: Swimming can be a great way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. The buoyancy of the water can help you feel weightless and relaxed.
- Increased Flexibility and Strength: Swimming requires a full range of motion and can help improve flexibility and strength.
- Improved Sleep: Regular exercise, including swimming, can improve sleep and help you fall asleep faster.
- Improved Mental Health: Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, and swimming is no exception.
Stoma Care and Maintenance While Swimming
While swimming with a stoma is possible, it’s important to take proper care of your stoma and bag while in the water. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Empty your stoma bag before swimming to avoid leaks and discomfort.
- Avoid swimming in heavily chlorinated water, as this can irritate the skin and stoma.
- After swimming, rinse your skin and stoma with warm water to remove any residual chlorine or salt.
- Apply skin moisturizer to help keep your skin hydrated and protected.
Swimming with a stoma is a great way to stay active, relieve stress, and enjoy the many health benefits that come with this fun and healthy activity. With proper preparation, adapted ostomy swimwear and care, you can enjoy swimming with confidence and comfort. So, make the most of the summer months and take a dip in the pool today!
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