Staying active is an important part of your kidney care and overall wellbeing. Even simple exercises can have a positive effect on your body and mind.
Why should kidney disease patients exercise?
Exercising may seem counterintuitive for patients with kidney disease when you frequently feel tired. Getting enough rest is important, but adding exercise to your care regimen may help the condition of your kidneys and actually increase your energy levels.
Finding an exercise routine that works for you can also help you sleep better, gain control of your weight and blood pressure, improve your mood, and increase your strength.
Before you get moving
Talk to your doctor and care team about the intensity and types of exercise that are right for you before you start. High-intensity activities may be beneficial, but your fluid levels and intake will need to be closely monitored. If you were previously inactive, it may be best to slowly work your way up to more intense types of movement.
In general, activities that require the continuous engagement of large muscle groups – such as walking, dancing, swimming, cycling, jogging, playing basketball, and other aerobics – can be good choices for individuals with kidney disease. You might also consider low-intensity strength building activities like yoga or light weight lifting.
Don’t overdo it!
With all activity, it’s important to know your limit, and everyone’s limit is different. Your weight, previous activity level, and other medical conditions determine what’s best for you.
Start slow, work up to a pace that pushes you but isn’t uncomfortable, and gradually slow your pace again when you’re about finished with the activity. If you feel extremely tired, short of breath, or nauseous, stop exercising and allow your body time to return to normal.
Ultimately, your doctor is your best advisor and partner in creating an exercise routine that’s right for you. If there are changes to your condition, your doctor can determine appropriate modifications to your fitness schedule and fluid intake.