?? for those who hit the gym...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 7/31/2008 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
For those who go to the gym, how much or a risk is the whole hernia thing? My doc still has me limited on how much I can lift (15lbs max) but once I'm cleared I want to get right back into the gym. Are there any specific exercises that I should never do? Can I do ab and core work outs or is that just asking for trouble? I'm really wanting to get myself a Bosu ball to add to my home gym but they are pretty tough core workouts.

For those that hit the gym with there stoma's please let me know what workouts are best.

I also used to do yoga workouts (I know I'm usually the only man) and I would like to get back into that but right now I find certain positions pretty tough. Once I'm a little more healed up will I be able to do any of the positions that involve laying on my stomach?

Sorry for throwing so many questions in there but after being sick for so long I absolutely love the fact that I'm starting to get my life back!! I really love my stoma!!
29 year old male, UC diagnosed after bad flare in Summer 2005, quickly brought into remission by pred and salofalk. 2 years symptom free after that!!
Bad flare started summer 07 and led to emergency surgery June 08 after ruptured colon.

Previous UC meds.... Salofalk, Imuran, Remicade, Buscopan, Pantoloc, Prednisone, etc...

Currently living with and ostomy and completely med free!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 7/31/2008 10:15 PM (GMT -6)   
i am glad you are happy with your bag!
I was going to the gym four days a week, but i havent' been in a while, but i was doing the tread mill, and if i felt adventrous, the stair stepper thing, lol. then i would do those nautilis machines, the one where you lift above you head i do 50lbs 15 at a time, usually two or three times, so like 30 or 45 a day f(although the first day i did it, it was set at 110, i didn't think to see if someone had changed it, and i was like, why can't i lift this thing!) then i do this one where you are on your back and pushing forward with your arms, i do 60 or 7olbs on that, then i do this thing that is called a rowing machine, i do 80-90 on that, some leg things, and i do this thing that is supposed to be for your stomach you sit on a seat and move this bar down with your stomach muscles, i do 80lbs on that. You are a man, so that probably seems like nothing to you though, lol. But i have done lots of lifting and stuff around the house, i even pushed our lawn mower up a hill the other day, it's a riding mower.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 7/31/2008 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
this question is sorta what i wanted to know. i have my 6 week check up next week and i also would like to get my butt moving more. but not sure what the dr will tell me. do any of you know where he will still have my on restrictions and if so what. I had a subtotal colecomy with 10 inches left.. NUMB how many weeks has it been for you now since your surgery.. so curious about this.. from not being able to do much to get back into things. i just wonder if the dr will say "do what you want now" or tell me to take it easy.. ok appreicate any advice also .

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 8/1/2008 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I did not find that the stoma limited my ability to work out. Can't remember when I went back but it's not a problem at all.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/1/2008 1:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so glad you've got your life back! Isn't is great to be disease and medicine free?? That's great that you're feeling good enough to want to start working out again, especially so soon after surgery.

I do yoga and Jazzercize (which is aerobics, weights and core exercises) and even sleep on my stomach without any problems. Those little stomas are tougher than we give them credit! You might want to ask your surgeon if there's a limit on how much weight you should be lifting. All in all, I think the best advice is to start slow and enjoy! :-)
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 629
   Posted 8/1/2008 6:02 AM (GMT -6)   
hey there. i haven't been to the gym now since i started my new job, but i was a regular 7 days a week, 2hrs a day guy before that. in my experience you can do pretty much whatever you want. i would definitely take it easy though-i waited about 6 months after surgery to go back.

for aerobics i usually stuck with the stepper, 30-40mins, but i occasionally hit the recumbant bike. stepper gets your heartrate up fast and keeps it there. no running for this guy, i found it awkward having the bag bounce around.....but i never shyed away from a very quick walk on the treadmill at the highest incline i could get...one can still get into the 80-90% heart rate range doing this, but it takes longer. i didn't like the stationary bikes just because it sorta squeezed my flange area a bit, but that'll depend on where yours is placed.

as for weight training, i found if i used free weights, it was too much for my core area and the muscles were actually pinching the stoma, making output difficult, causing cramping. it took me a while to figure that one out. but as long as i stuck with machines, i had no problems and could lift/push/whathaveyou as much weight as my muscles could handle, i was doing ~440lbs on the leg press and was in the 150-200lbs range on pretty much everything else.

and you're not the only guy doing yoga, i do some every morning, it's the first thing i do after emptying the bag :) i'd be careful with that if you've still got stitches in, but doesn't sound like you do

oh, and one last bit of advice :) if you're worried about your core, hire a trainer for a session. explain the situation and tell them you don't want to work your abs too much-what exercises should and shouldn't you de, what machines to use and stay away from. they've all seen it before and will set you up, that's what i did. most gyms (around here at least) offer one free session, but they don't advertise that, you have to ask..THEN they'll do it lol

have fun!

Dec 2006: Proctocolectomy/permanent ileostomy
Since 1991: Indeterminate crohn's/ulserative colitis

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/1/2008 6:35 AM (GMT -6)   

Ditto what Matt says about the trainer.  Years ago my husband gave me a gift certificate for our local gym (nice gift, huh!!) but it was the best thing!  I learned what to do/not to do and I keep it very easy when it comes to abs.

After this last surgery I waited 4 months to start cardio and 5 months to start weights.  I do a mixture of free/machine excercises and do not have any problems (but I don't do really high weights).  My surgery was open so my recovery was lenghy.

I am afraid to do yoga...I know I shouldn't be but I am!!!!  Good Luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 8/1/2008 8:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the replies... I pretty much started on the treadmill the first or second day I was home from surgery. Not much mind you I started at about 4-5 minutes at very low intensity. I'm now just past 6 weeks post op and I'm up to about 20-30 minutes a day of medium intensity walking. I'm also just starting weight lifting but as I said it's very low weight and upper body only.

I will definitely look into the personal trainer idea, the only issue is I live in a very small town and we don't have a gym. I have a very well stocked personal gym in my basement (I used to be in good shape before the UC). I'm going to ask around and see if anyone knows of a trainer that will do in house work so at least I will be able to carry on with the workouts on my own equipment.
29 year old male, UC diagnosed after bad flare in Summer 2005, quickly brought into remission by pred and salofalk. 2 years symptom free after that!!
Bad flare started summer 07 and led to emergency surgery June 08 after ruptured colon.

Previous UC meds.... Salofalk, Imuran, Remicade, Buscopan, Pantoloc, Prednisone, etc...

Currently living with and ostomy and completely med free!!

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