Most people with kidney diseases remain apprehensive about exercising especially in the past where it was believed to be a health risk to engage in vigorous activities. It’s time to kick away this apprehension because the truth is: Exercise is good for everyone, including YOU!

In general, having an exercise program gives the following benefits: cardiovascular fitness, improved muscle strength and functioning; lower cholesterol levels; weight control and better sleep.

It is recommended that patients with kidney diseases see a doctor first before starting on a program. Your doctor may even recommend an exercise stress test to rule out heart problems, though stress tests have been found to have reduced diagnostic usefulness among dialysis patients. The best thing to do is to follow what the doctor recommends for your program including the type of exercise, length of time you need to spend on it and the frequency.

Choose exercises which continuously move large muscle groups. Examples of these exercises are walking, cycling, aerobic dancing. Your goal is to exercise for 30 minutes. It may seem hard at first, so you need to do it gradually. You can walk for 10 minutes and then slowly increase your time to 15, 20, 25 and then 30. If you are up to it, you can walk for 60 minutes. Before you start exercising be sure to warm up or do some stretching. Warm up exercises prevent injuries and will make you more agile. It will help you achieve better results for your exercise program.

Strive to exercise at least three days a week, but these should not be done consecutively. Gym trainers do not advice it. You should give your muscles time to rest and recuperate. People also ask when the best time to exercise is. Try to do it in first thing in the morning, or in the evening. Avoid exercising when it’s hot or humid, unless your gym has air conditioning. Don’t exercise right after a meal, instead wait after an hour. You don’t want the food to back up. If you have eaten too much, then forget about exercising until a good hour or two. Don’t exercise under the following circumstances without consulting your doctor: when you have a fever; there is a change in your dialysis schedule or medicine schedule; your physical condition changed, i.e. joint or bone problems have worsened.

Kidney patients should be able to talk comfortably during exercise. You should immediately stop exercising if you experience the following: lightheadedness, dizziness, leg cramps, chest pain and palpitations, breathlessness and nausea.

Cooling down after every exercise is just as important as warming up. Never end your exercise abruptly as it may cause blood pooling. Dialysis patients who experience pooling may experience dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting.

It is sincerely hoped that this article has motivated you to start exercising. The important thing to remember is to stay safe, and yes to have fun!

 
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