How to Exercise with Kidney Disease

If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, you are probably scared and frustrated. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in a great exercise program. This article discusses how to safely exercise if you have been diagnosed with kidney disease. You’ll feel so great, you’ll wish you started the program sooner!

Talk with Your Doctor

Before starting any type of new exercise program, whether you have kidney disease or not, it is essential that you talk with your doctor. Your doctor will not only be able to tell you if you are healthy enough to start a new exercise program, but will also be able to give you some recommendations regarding what type of exercise is best for you. Typically, people who have been diagnosed with kidney disease are encouraged to participate in cardiovascular activity and perform various stretching routines in order to increase their endurance and flexibility.

Work with an Exercise Specialist

If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease and are interested in starting an exercise program, it is essential that you meet at least once with someone who understands how to prescribe exercise for people with your condition. While you may be tempted simply to go home and start exercising, these individuals will be able to tell you exactly what you can and can’t do. Ask you doctor for a referral–typically, they will be able to suggest a physical therapist or exercise physiologist that has experiencing working with kidney patients.

Start Slowly

Once you do meet with the exercise specialist and get a recommendation, it is time to finally start your new exercise routine. As described above, people with kidney disease are more often than not encouraged to participate in cardiovascular activity–this means walking, biking or swimming. Be sure to start slowly when starting a new exercise routine. According to the surgeon general, for best results you should exercise for a total of 60 minutes most days a week (but this doesn’t mean you have to start at that point). Start by walking 10 minutes a day, and slowly work your way up. If you start too aggressively, you will not only burn out, but may actually injure yourself.

Track Your Results

Finally, be sure to track your results. This is not only important for you, but can also help your doctor, nurse or health care provider make future recommendations about the state of your care. Be sure to not only write down how long you exercised for, but also what type of exercise was performed, how you felt before, during, and after the exercise, and if possible, how many calories were burned. Be sure to read through these entries on a regular basis. It will not only keep you motivated, but will give you some reminders about healthy habits.


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