According to a recent study, as long as you get in your recommended amount of exercise, each week, it may not really matter how you divide up your workout time. The study found that exercising for 150 minutes at a moderate level had benefits no matter if the exercise is done in bigger chunks or a few times a week.
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Lack of exercise is known to cause heart disease and diabetes and includes a cluster of complications such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and having a large waistline. The important message is that Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients should aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity in whatever pattern that works for their schedule.
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Study participants who were physically active, the ones assigned to workout five or more days a week, had lower risk of health disorders mentioned above than those who worked out one to four times a week. However, researchers noted that the difference was not significant. Ultimately, the take away for CKD sufferers from this study is that frequency of physical activity throughout the week is not independently associated with the medical disorders highlighted above. Conversely, the amount of physical activity is strongly associated with lowering the odds.
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Exercise is also good to build strength, decrease depression, boost self confidence and increase quality of sleep. But for many with CKD chronic pain, anemia, feeling lethargic, and more make exercising a genuine problem, seemingly near impossible to do on a consistent basis. However, there are some easy ways to workout so gently that you can incorporate strategies into your daily routine without even noticing.
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Leg lifting is an easy way to improve leg strength while sitting. You just have to sit in a steady chair and lift one leg slowly until it's parallel with the floor, hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower it. You can do this with your toe pointed away from you and with your toe pointed toward you to work different muscles. Then repeat with the other leg. Clearly this is an ideal exercise that can be done while dialysis patients are doing their treatment, but transplant patients can also find time to do this light and easy exercise. As you get used to the activity, increase repetitions.
Canned soup or vegetables make for wonderful light hand weights. You can use them to work on upper body strength and a range of motion. Start with your arms straight at your side and bring the can straight out to the side, pause level with the shoulder, then raise your arm straight up toward the ceiling. Bring it slowly back to your side. Do the same moving your arm forward. As you get used to these movements, increase the number of repetitions. KidneyBuzz.com recommends that Hemodialysis patients check with their Nephrologist before trying this exercise on your fistula arm.
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Make your bed after you've been up a bit, and you are no longer stiff, instead of just pulling up the covers on your bed, strip it. Stripping off all the sheets and blankets and remaking the bed is a good mini workout with a bit of light lifting and some good stretching.
Careful, gentle stretching feels good and is good for you. Stand with your feet shoulders width apart. Slowly bring one arm up over your head and bend at the waist the opposite direction. Repeat the other direction. Gently bend forward at the waist. You can also do stretches while sitting.
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Dance while you declutter! Put on your favorite music, and dance away as you clean areas of your home. No your level of movement and stick to it. If you have issues with your hips then do not try going all out and hurt yourself. Slowly swaying to the music as you clean counts as physical activity. However, if you are capable, feel free to jam-out and even break a sweat. Just be careful not to hurt anyone, including yourself. Lol.
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Every step counts so when you are running your errands or going shopping if you feel strong enough do not pick a parking space closest to your destination, instead choose one that is a reasonable distance away from the door so you walk farther. This may not be the same distance every time because some days you will feel stronger than others and your parking distance should reflect that. Also, when you are grocery shopping do not simply leave your cart next to your car. If you are feeling capable, then take the extra steps and return it to the containment area in the lot.
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Do not limit yourself to these light and simple exercises, you will find it easy to spot other ones. KidneyBuzz.com would love to hear any others that you may have come up with so leave a comment and we will share them with the rest of the community. To preserve your health it is critical that you discuss any recommend exercises in this article with your Nephrologist to ensure that they are the best for you and your personal physical activity abilities.
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Chan, Amanda L. "Exercise Frequency May Not Matter As Long As You Work Out 150 Minutes A Week, Study Finds." The Huffington Post.
"Top 9 Ways to "Sneak In" Exercise Without Noticing." About.com Headaches & Migraines.