Walking Your Way to Healthier Kidneys

 

For many people suffering from one kidney condition or another, there are many questions to be asked: what are my treatment options? How can I donate my car to charity for kidney research? What do I eat and drink to reduce my symptoms? What kind of exercise should I be getting? Your doctor will have most of those answers for you, the experts at Kidney Cars can help you donate your car, and here are a few tips for incorporating a simple walking program into your day to help improve kidney function.

Why Walking?

Walking is a low-impact, readily available, and inexpensive exercise option that almost anyone can participate in. Here are a few fun walking facts:

  1. Women who walk regularly experience less memory loss than those who don’t

  2. Walking for 30 minutes, 3 times a week is as effective at improving your mood as taking anti-depressants

  3. Walking helps you sleep better by reducing cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body.

  4. Walking helps you to think more clearly and better because of the increased blood flow to the brain

  5. Walking reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50% and heart disease by 40%

How Can Walking Help My Kidneys?

The biggest benefit that walking can have for those dealing with a chronic kidney condition is to reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues. The risk of heart related difficulties increases with kidney disease and particularly when a patient is on dialysis. By choosing to walk, you are alleviating some of the pressure that is placed on your heart alone and getting your whole body involved in keeping your blood pumping and your organs working together.

Making an Exercise Schedule Work For You

Many people struggle with incorporating exercise into their life. Remember this rule of thumb: if you have to make a huge change to do it, it might not last.

Some of the most lasting lifestyle changes are the little ones that can be incorporated into your daily schedule. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Grocery shopping-plan on an extra 30 minutes to do your grocery shopping. Park at the back of the parking lot, and take the time to walk the entire perimeter of the store once or twice before you ever fill your cart. You won’t be winning any medals for speed, but you’ll be getting in around 20-30 minutes of continuous walking into your schedule.

  • Invite a friend for a stroll-Do you enjoy visiting with your friends? Why not invite them out on a walk with you? You don’t need to race, be sure to keep a pace that allows you to maintain the ability to speak to one another, then walk and talk for about 30 minutes together. You’ll build up your body and your friendship at the same time.

  • Get a pedometer-This handy little device clips to your hip pocket and will count all of the steps you take in a day. Use this to see how many steps you’re currently taking every day and gauge how many steps you need to increase to reach your goals.

  • Become a mall walker-Many enclosed malls around the country actively invite walkers to use their space for exercise. For anyone who like to shop it’s a great way to get your exercise and see first hand what the latest styles and trends are.

  • Take your pet-If you have a pet dog or a cat who likes to walk, taking your little furry friend out for a walk can be wonderful exercise for you both. Animals, like humans, live longer and have fewer health problems when they exercise regularly.

Kidney conditions can put limits on what exercises you can and can’t do, but if your doctor gives you the go ahead, make walking a part of your daily schedule. You just might find that your body and your emotions function better.