The process of hemodialysis takes several hours and many people read or watch TV during the treatment session. However, exercising at least part of the time during dialysis could provide better results.
A study found that exercising during hemodialysis resulted in better filtering of waste products from the blood. Dialysis doesn't remove wastes as efficiently as the kidneys, and dialysis patients often suffer symptoms of uremia, including weakness, nausea, hormonal imbalances and increased cardiovascular disease. So then, the better cleaning achieved through dialysis, the fewer of these problems patients should experience. Dialysis patients usually experience fatigue and a lower quality of life related to their disease. They may be unable to participate in activities they enjoy. Exercise can help improve functioning as well as decrease heart disease, build strength and increase overall health.
Participants who had been undergoing dialysis for at least six months exercised for one hour during the first two hours of their thrice weekly dialysis sessions. They would exercise on a stationary cycle or a mini- stepper for 30 minutes, rest 30 minutes, then exercise another 30 minutes. They exercised at their own pace. The participants worked out on a recumbent bike for 20 minutes three times a week during their dialysis sessions.
Exercising increases circulation which allows more blood to be filtered. This results in the removal of more waste from the blood. In the study, patients with less waste in their blood felt better and were able to walk farther. Exercise also causes your heart rate to rise and your muscles to work harder, resulting in improved cardiovascular health and muscle strength. Even people sick with kidney disease realize benefits from a modest exercise program.
The strength and aerobic exercises developed during HD can improve the respiratory muscular strength, functional performance, and quality of life, when compared to individuals presenting the disease who have not developed any type of physical training. Additional exercising information can be found at KidneyBuzz.com.
Reference: "Exercise During Dialysis." LIVESTRONG