Exercising and Kidney Disease?



Are you new to your diagnosis of kidney disease? Are you facing some big changes in your life? Changes that might include starting a specific kidney diet, learning about and taking medications as well as other lifestyle alterations, such as ending a smoking habit or decreasing alcohol intake. There are challenges in store with letting go of long-established habits but now that change is foreseeable, changes can add positive adjustments to your life. An excellent part of your kidney disease treatment is exercise, noted to just as physical support but also a great help to your mental state.

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) goes to great lengths to support people affected by kidney disease. Supporting their cause is invaluable to the people on the receiving end of the great help made available. Please consider donating your car to the NKF to further this support! It’s simple and easy!

What kind of exercise can I do?

Always talk to your doctor about what intensity and quantity of exercise is best for you. Your doctor will take into consideration what your exercise level was before your diagnosis. Whether a seasoned athlete or just entering an exercise program, walking is a great choice for consistent and effective physical activity.


  • It is simple and does not require special equipment other than a good pair of walking shoes.
  • Choosing something low-impact such as walking as your primary exercise or supplementary to a higher level of activity adds great benefits to your mind and body.
  • Access to walking is available at any season, indoors or outdoors.

Consciously add opportunities to walk throughout your day can be as simple as choosing the stairs rather than the elevator, actually walking to a co-worker’s desk instead of sending emails or calling them, or using your lunch break to get some steps on that counter!

If it is an option, completing your errands on foot rather than by car is a great addition to your walking schedule.

After consulting your doctor and if you are ready for more intense exercise, joining a gym can offer a wide range of choices. Some enjoy a good 30 minutes on the treadmill or other machine, while others find it boring. The goal is to raise your heart rate through physical activity which could include riding a bike, playing golf, trying out tennis or even are great for raising the heart rate while diverting you from the fact that you’re exercising. We are more likely to continue an exercise program if it is fun! Another idea to consider is exercising with a partner.

Remember to drink (water!)

Whether you exercise enough to sweat or not, always hydrate yourself. Fluid restriction can be an issue with kidney disease, so you may need to be mindful about what you do to re-hydrate. Sweating usually allows for active rehydration. Be in communication with your doctor about renal retention for the best ways to keep hydrated.

Your mind on Exercise

Exercising may improve your mental health. While exercise promotes physical strength and a healthy body weight, it also significantly contributes to mental clarity, and over all well-being. Dealing with the challenges of having kidney disease is greatly supported by the benefits of consistent exercise.

When facing your kidney disease diagnosis, you can use it as impetus to make positive changes in your life. You will find that benefits of exchanging a sedentary way of life for an active one, finding support and healing for harmful habits of smoking and alcohol consumption, and adding nourishing foods to your diet all have the potential of increasing your quality of life. Exercise is an important part of these changes, and there is much support and help as you navigate this new phase of your life.