Walking May Be The Best Exercise For CKD And Dialysis Patients To Improve Health And Decrease Mortality



Weight lifting, running, intense aerobics and even swimming may be exercises that are too taxing or impossible for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Dialysis patients to do safely. However, consistent exercise is important for patients to improve heart health, maintain weight, help boost energy levels, support the immune system, and remain active on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List. Hence, what is the best form of exercise for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients? Well, experts and researchers alike are pointing to walking, and there are very good reasons for that.

Recommended Reading: Walking is the Easiest Exercise to Incorporate into Your Daily Life

Health experts have suggested that walking for approximately 30 minutes a day can help limit Cardiovascular (heart-related) conditions which are a leading cause of death for people with Chronic Kidney Disease and those on Dialysis. While, 30 minutes of exercise may seem a bit excessive and difficult, if patients consider that there are 24 hours in a day, walking for that amount of time can be achieved. Try walking three times a day for 10 minutes. If you feel as though you can do more, then try walking 33 minutes a day or three times a day for 11 minutes. Then try walking for 36 minutes or three times a day for 12 minute increments - and so on. 

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Other great health benefits of walking include: 

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Better blood pressure control
  • Stress relief
  • Boost in energy levels
  • Stronger muscles
  • Weight control
  • Restful sleep
  • Sharper memory

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While you can take a stroll through your neighborhood or through a local park, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients can also incorporate walking into their daily routine. Try walking through the mall or through the grocery store. Most people do not realize that simply walking up and down the stairs or around the house multiple times can be a great exercise. 

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A few tips for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients as they prepare for regular walking include the following: 

Walking Shoes: If you are walking outside, consider investing in a pair of walking shoes if you do not already have some. Look for a shoe with plenty of cushion, low treads, and solid construction to grip flat surfaces in order to avoid slippage.

Warm Up And Cool Down: While walking is typically a low impact exercise, Chronic Kidney Disease patients should still stretch before walking (be sure to consult your doctor about warm up exercises before attempting them). Also, cool down by slowing the pace for the last five minutes of your walk. This allows the body to come back to a more relaxed state.

How Much Should Patients Drink?: This is a tough one since obviously, every patient is different. A good rule of thumb is to always stay within your prescribed fluid limits. Also, check labels on water bottles and sports drinks as many brands now have added potassium or phosphorus. Another good strategy to limit dehydration and thirst is to wear warm weather-appropriate clothes such as short-sleeved shirts and shorts or lightweight pants. If you are heading outside then wear a lighter color of pants since darker clothes tend to trap the sun’s heat more easily.

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What is your favorite type of exercise to conduct? What secrets about staying active can you share with other patients?  Share your responses with the over 39,000 Friends at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan page (click here). Moreover, consider following the over 115,000 monthly visitors to KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (#1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.

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