As you recover from surgery, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. But getting fit and being active could actually be the key to a faster recovery and, in the long run, a better quality of life.

Once you have fully recovered, and provided you have the agreement of your doctor or stoma care nurse, there is no reason why you shouldn’t participate in competitive sport!

You can find out more about returning to sport in our Active Ostomates Booklet (which is Highly Commended by the British Medical Association) and our Active Ostomates Project is helping support groups across the country who are try all sorts of activities. We also have a number of sports specific articles which can be downloaded below.

BMA Patient information awards_highly commended


Swimming is a fantastic activity for people with a stoma as it promotes cardiovascular fitness and toning. It is natural to have concerns about swimming; some ostomates worry about their bag leaking or feel self conscious in pools or at the beach. However, the adhesive on stoma bags remains effective in water. Flange extenders can give you further security too. Likewise, there is a wide range of swimwear available that provides support and discretion.

Although ostomates may worry that others in the pool will turn and stare at their bag, the truth is, most people won’t even notice the colour of your swimming costume, let alone what may lie beneath it!

You can search for local swimming clubs and pools through:

Swim England www.swimming.org
Scottish Swimming www.scottishswimming.com
Swim Wales www.swimwales.org
and Swim Ulster www.swimulster.net

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