10 Renal-Friendly Habits for Health in 2022

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What’s on your list of resolutions for 2022?

When you’re living with renal disease, it makes sense to put “staying healthy” on your list.
So how do you make that happen?

These 10 tips for healthy kidneys will help you feel better, protect your health, and help you maintain the kidney function you have left.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast
Start the day with a healthy breakfast…and be mindful of foods high in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. You might like:

2. Avoid or limit pain meds

You might need pain meds after a surgery or to manage a certain condition. But pain meds can negatively impact your kidneys.

And there’s other side effects of both prescription and over-the-counter that can impact digestion, sleep, and more.

3. Be more active

Aim for about 30 minutes of exercise every day. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Hit the gym. Regular exercise can help you:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Build muscle
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improve sleep
  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Manage your weight

 4. Organize your life

When you’re managing renal disease, there’s a lot of medical stuff you need to keep track of. Medication, paperwork, bills, supplements, appointments, and more.

If all this stuff is kind of a scattered mess, use the New Year to get organized. Put everything in one place. Put your appointments on a master calendar. Organize your meds. You’ll beat stress and clear your mind for more important things.

5. Don’t smoke, or quit if you do

Chances are pretty good you already know smoking causes lung cancer. And it’s an even riskier habit when you have renal disease.

Why? Smoking limits blood flow to the kidneys. And it can interfere with medications for high blood pressure. If you smoke, make quitting a New Year’s resolution. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.

6. Be more active

If you’re already getting 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day, keep it up. If you’re not, aim to sit less and move more. Research shows sitting for long periods may actually contribute to kidney-related problems. Maybe get up and go for a walk…right…now.

7. See your doctor

When you’re living with renal disease, it’s important to maintain the remaining health of your kidneys with diet, exercise, smart lifestyle habits, and even medication.

But it’s just as important to stay in touch with your doctor. The New Year is a great time to schedule a check-up with your doctor to evaluate your kidneys, complete a urine test, and review the results to check on your kidney.

8. Maintain your weight, or lose weight if you need to

If you need to lose weight (about 73 percent of adults are overweight or obese), now is always the best time to start. And the best strategy is a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and smart lifestyle habits.

Research shows obesity may force the kidneys to work harder to remove toxins and contribute to renal disease and kidney failure.

9. Get your Zzzs

Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for best health. Sleep helps your body reset hormone levels linked to hunger, appetite and metabolism. When you skimp on sleep, you’re more likely to gain weight or have trouble losing weight.

10. Limit sodium. 

Hopefully, you’re already paying attention to the amount of sodium you’re consuming. You should also avoid or limit potassium and phosphorus.

You can limit sodium by eating less fast food and processed meals, and season your food with herbs and spices instead of salt.

Does sodium really matter that much? Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure. It can also damage the heart and kidneys.

Want to enjoy health and happiness in 2022? Make these Renal-Friendly habits part of your everyday life.