A KidneyBuzz.com viewer wrote, "My father always was a positive guy, but he's been pretty down-in-the-dumps lately. He's been on Dialysis (and the kidney transplant list) for a couple of years now. His blood pressure is too high, then low after treatments. He has trouble sleeping, and he doesn't move around much. He used to be a basketball player. What can I do to help him out?"
When it comes to helping Chronic Kidney Disease, especially Dialysis patients, live longer and better (less depression, pain, fatigue, and improved freedom) a couple of things are of primary importance. First, maintaining a reasonable diet and trying to avoid salt; phosphorus-, potassium- and magnesium-rich foods while eating a good amount of protein to boost energy levels and wound healing times.
Recommended Reading: Walking is the Easiest Exercise to Incorporate into Your Daily Life
Also, many patients either feel dehydrated or overloaded with fluids. Remember that you can get fluid from fruits such as berries and apples in moderation, and not just water.
Still, likely one of the best ways that Dialysis patients can boost their longevity and quality of life is exercise. Don't be intimidated by the word "EXERCISE," because we are not referring to intensive workouts. Simple short bouts of walking is a great way for patients to improve their lifestyle. We know that may sound a bit counterintuitive for some Dialysis patients, but a Dialysis Center study (published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology) found that for patients on Dialysis, an easy home-based exercise program "significantly" improved cognitive function, raised levels of social interaction, and helped to improve energy levels among Chronic Kidney Disease patients conducting Dialysis.
Recommended Reading: Six Reasons That CKD And Dialysis Patients May Consider Walking Barefoot Regularly
While most patients may realize that walking in general is good for them, what was even more shocking was that the study only had patients walk for six minutes (approximately 1,100 feet)! Yes, patients had to conduct three consecutive two-minute intervals of walking each day and a sit-to-stand exercise, repeated five times a day to gain visible improvements to their day-to-day lives.
Although walking can marginally help Dialysis patients get into shape, the real benefit comes in the form of improved heart health. Regular walking can reduce the risk of a heart attack (a major cause of death in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community), lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and better manage blood pressure levels.
Improved positive feelings, energy, and overall health may literally just be steps away for Dialysis patients. Give it a try. Don't feel pressured to walk every single day. If you do not feel well one day, then it is okay to recuperate and walk another day. Start off slowly by walking for 1 to 3 minutes and then try to increase your time. If you have mobility issues or are wheelchair bound, then complete the below form for other exercises you can do to improve your heart health and lifestyle.
Do you find exercise difficult as a Dialysis patient? What exercises have worked best for you? Share your responses with the over 157,000 Friends who have liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page (click here). Also, follow the nearly 140,000 monthly individual viewers who visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly for the latest daily news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and Hypertension how to better manage and improve their lives. Anjan Das (Dialysis patient) said, "KidneyBuzz is a ray of hope in my life...."