At this time of year we are usually barraged by New Year resolutions and ‘healthy eating this’ and ‘exercise that’. It can be tiresome at the best of times when we don’t have health concerns to think about, but what about when you have an ostomy?
There may be foods you can’t stomach due to a risk of blockages or it may send your output haywire, and when it comes to exercise you may be concerned about getting a parastomal hernia.
These are both very important concerns to have but, with a bit of time, knowledge and the right equipment, those worries need not take over your quest to live a healthier life. Notice I don’t talk about weight loss? Well, to me, having a healthier lifestyle is far more beneficial than just losing weight.
Here are my top five tips for healthy eating:
- Firstly, chew well – this is literally the golden rule for ostomates and non-ostomates alike!
- Chop veggies and salad items small – this is something that allows me to eat salad with minimal effects to my ostomy and that includes being able to enjoy leafy greens!
- Drink plenty – we often think we are hungry when in fact we are thirsty.
- Check your portion sizes – it is the easiest way to be healthier as we probably all eat more than we should when it comes to certain foods.
- Have fruits as snacks and blend veggies into sauces – this curbs sugar cravings and helps towards getting your five a day.
Here are my top five tips for exercising:
- Wear support wear – this is so imperative to exercising with an ostomy and there are a variety of items available these days. Depending on area restrictions you may be able to get up to three on prescription – contact your healthcare provider to discuss.
- Start small and work your way up – I’m doing three sets of a circuit of four exercises at 20 reps each and if I manage okay I will increase it.
- Listen to your body – if you experience pain STOP straightaway, and if you get fatigued stop. You can always have a rest and carry on later.
- Walking is a great way to get moving and you never know, you might find something new or beautiful along the way.
- Check with your doctor to ensure that exercising right now is a good idea, especially if you haven’t had your ostomy long.
Hopefully some of these super simple and obvious tips help you if you’re looking to start taking steps to a healthier new you!