Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
Physical fitness is very important in today's world. Everyone is enjoying the benefits of greater strength and feeling better. Exercise keeps your body strong and healthy.
Yes. In the past, it was thought that people with kidney disease would not be able to join in vigorous activity. We know now that patients who decide to follow an exercise program are stronger and have more energy.
With exercise, it becomes easier to get around, do your necessary tasks and still have some energy left over for other activities you enjoy.
In addition to increased energy, other benefits from exercise may include:
Yes. Before beginning any exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor.
When planning a directed exercise program, you need to look at four things:
Here are some tips on each:
Choose continuous activity such as walking, swimming, bicycling (indoors or out), skiing, aerobic dancing or any other activities in which you need to move large muscle groups continuously.
Low-level strengthening exercises may also be beneficial as part of your program. Design your program to use low weights and high repetitions, and avoid heavy lifting.
Work toward 30 minutes a session. You should build up gradually to this level.
There is nothing magical about 30 minutes. If you feel like walking 45 to 60 minutes, go ahead. Just be sure to follow the advice listed under "When should I stop exercising?" in this brochure.
Exercise at least three days a week. These should be non-consecutive days, for example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Three days a week is the minimum requirement to achieve the benefits of your exercise.
How Hard to Work While Exercising
This is the most difficult to talk about without knowing your own exercise capacity. Usually, the following ideas are helpful:
The most important thing is to start slowly and progress gradually, allowing your body to adapt to the increased levels of activity.
Try to schedule your exercise into your normal day. Here are some ideas about when to exercise:
Yes. You should not exercise without talking with your doctor if any of the following occurs:
If you stop exercising for any of these reasons, speak to your doctor before beginning again.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
©2013 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. No one associated with the National Kidney Foundation will answer medical questions via e-mail. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.