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Exercise to Help Your Kidneys

Now that your kidneys are working fully, it is important to find ways to keep them working well for a long time. Staying fit with the help of regular exercise is one way. The human body needs regular physical activity to stay healthy. Many diseases, physical limitations, and mental health problems are due to a lack of physical activity.

Exercise choices

My doctor suggests that I try these exercises:

  • Stretching

  • Swimming

  • Walking

  • Bicycling

  • Taking a fitness class

  • Taking a dance class

  • Using an exercise machine, such as _________________

  • Other _________________

How you benefit

When you exercise, your organs and tissues get more oxygen and nutrients from your blood. This gives you more energy. Exercise also makes your muscles stronger, which may help make your bones stronger. This is helpful because kidney disease sometimes weakens bones. Frequent aerobic exercise (any nonstop activity that makes your heart work harder) can also help lower high blood pressure. Medical research also shows that exercise lowers your risk of getting diabetes. It can also help you control your diabetes if you already have it. The other known benefits of exercise are:

  • A lower risk for heart attack and stroke

  • Improved sense of well-being and less stress

  • A lower risk for colon and breast cancer

  • Prevention and improvement of joint pains (arthritis)

  • Lower levels of blood fats (cholesterol)

  • Better sleep

  • A healthier weight

Make exercise part of your life

It's best to exercise at least 5 times a week. Make it a goal to work out for 30 minutes each time. Even if you can’t do 30 minutes at a time, exercising for less time will also improve many areas of health. For example, you could take 3 brisk walks for 10 minutes, 3 times a day. Talk with your health care provider about the safest way to start.

To be more active

Woman swimming laps.

All types of movement count. Try the tips below to help you get more active.

  • Swim laps at a local pool.

  • Go for a walk, mow the lawn, or wash the car.

  • Take the stairs.

  • Choose a parking spot farther away from your destination.

  • Take dancing lessons or join an activity club

Remember, find an activity you enjoy and you will be more likely to keep it up.

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Last Review Date: 11/26/2014
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