People with kidney failure can lead full, active lives. You can, too!
Learning how to live a good life in spite of kidney disease is what rehabilitation is all about.
For you, rehabilitation may mean keeping your job or going back to work. It may mean doing the things you want to do, like gardening, fixing up your home, participating in sports, or playing with your grandchildren. Or it may just mean being able to live on your own. ‘Exercise’ is one of the most important part of rehabilitation for a Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patient.
People on dialysis who exercise regularly get results. They can do more, PLUS they say that they feel better. They have more energy, and they feel less anxious and depressed, perhaps because they have a greater sense of control over their lives.
The amount and type of exercise needs to be checked with your doctor.
Exercise does many things for you:
- Lowers your cholesterol and triglycerides
- Helps you lose weight
- Gives you better muscle tone
- Makes it easier to get around
- Helps you sleep better
- Gives you more energy
- Improves your blood pressure
Who Can Exercise
Almost every person on dialysis can exercise. What’s best for you depends on your medical condition and how well you can walk. If kidney function is the only issue you are facing – then you will have more options. You can exercise at home or with a group exercise class. You can also exercise at your dialysis unit if there is a program. Your doctor may want you to see a physical therapist who can recommend exercises for you.
Always consult your physician before starting on any exercise regime.
What Kind of Exercise Can You Do
Flexibility exercise – to help your joints work smoothly and help you bend, stoop, reach, and move more easily. Flexibility exercises use gentle muscle stretching and slow movements.
The kind of exercise may be tailored to the needs of patients with arthritis by your therapist.
Strengthening exercise – to make your muscles stronger. Strengthening exercises use resistance (weights, elastic bands, or your own body weight) to make muscles work harder
Cardiovascular exercise (also called aerobic or endurance exercise) – to make your heart, lungs, and circulation work more efficiently. Cardiovascular exercises use sustained, rhythmic movements of your arms and/or legs. Cardiovascular exercises improve endurance, so you can be active longer without getting tired.
Exercise is fun and good for you. Let’s get started!!
Disclaimer: Consult your physician/nephrologist before starting any exercise.