9 Reasons to Exercise in 2022 + Training Tips


You know you depend on dialysis treatments to remove toxins from your blood to do the work your kidneys can’t.

But is that enough to stay healthy? It’s a start. But dialysis isn’t the only thing you can do to protect your health and enjoy life.

Managing your diet by limiting liquids and foods high in potassium, sodium, and phosphorus can help. But there’s at least one more thing you can do…exercise.

You don’t have to run a marathon or train like a bodybuilder. But research shows regular exercise can help dialysis patients in at least nine different ways, including:

  1. Reduce anxiety and depression
  2. Lower blood pressure
  3. Improve heart health
  4. Build muscle strength and endurance
  5. Increase flexibility
  6. Improve balance and stability
  7. Lower the risk of falling
  8. Reduce cholesterol levels
  9. Feel better

Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week

The U.S. Surgeon General recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Break that down into a daily exercise goal, and 20 to 25 minutes of exercise per day will help you reap the benefits to protect your health.

Here are some easy ways to be more active:

  • Go for a walk in your neighborhood, park, or shopping mall
  • Workout at a gym or fitness club
  • Take a fitness class
  • Pick a fitness video you can do at home and follow along

4 types of exercise for best results

For best results, your daily workout plan should include four types of exercise:

  1. Flexibility: This can include things like stretching, yoga, and deep breathing.
  2. Strength: Try push-ups, sit ups, squats and lunges, or use home workout equipment. Or build strength by using weights and machines at the gym. The goal…do a little work for each major muscle group: Back, chest, shoulders, legs, arms, and your core.
  3. 3. Balance: Try this. Stand up and put your hand against the wall. Stand on one foot, and take your hand off the wall. Balance for 30 seconds to a minute. Then switch sides. Next, try balancing…with your eyes closed. It’s a simple exercise that can strengthen the muscles your body uses to maintain balance. It also trains your brain to help you improve balance.
  4. 4. Cardio. Anything that elevates your heart rate counts. Brisk walking. Biking. Aerobics. Even vigorous house cleaning counts. This type of exercise helps strengthen your heart and lungs, and burns calories and fat.

Hungry for more help? We hope these nine reasons to exercise for dialysis patients will motivate you. Exercise will improve your health, but your diet makes a big difference when you’re on dialysis. And there’s and easy way to make cooking and meal prep easier. Check out the complete list of Dialysis-Friendly mealsand pick your favorites.