Kidney Disease and Your Physical Health
Kidney disease can leave us feeling fatigued and drained of energy. These feelings can make physical exercise a difficult task, but it is still necessary for our overall health. Exercise also improves symptoms of kidney disease, such as inflammation, and can give us more energy over time. Here are some ways to improve your physical health while dealing with kidney disease and being on dialysis.
It’s not about working yourself to the point of exhaustion or lifting the heaviest weights— consistency is most important when exercising for your health. Studies have shown that consistent exercise for anywhere between 6-12 months can improve inflammation and the overall health of patients with kidney disease. Try to exercise for around 30 minutes at least every other day.
Start with Flexibility
If you’re new to physical activity, flexibility is the best place to start. The exercises are accessible, meaning that everyone can do them. They don’t require much energy expenditure, and you don’t need to be strong or physically fit to do them. Remember to stretch before and after your workouts so that your body can warm up and cool down properly. This helps avoid injury and pain after workouts.
Incorporate Some Cardio
Cardiovascular disease is a common complication of kidney disease, so it’s important to keep your heart healthy by doing cardio. Find something you enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or hiking with friends. Cardio will significantly improve energy levels because it helps increase blood flow and oxygen delivery. It might be difficult and tiring at first, but the outcome is worth it! Bringing a friend with you also helps pass the time and keeps you motivated.
Don’t Over-Exert Yourself
The goal of exercising is never to hurt yourself or feel so sore you can’t move the next day. Pushing yourself is good, especially if you want to improve your strength or flexibility, but it should never feel painful. You should never feel shortness of breath or chest pains. If you do, slow down or stop. Speak to your doctor before starting any new exercise program to check if it is safe and beneficial for you.