Safe Fitness Tips for Kidney Patients

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If you are a kidney patient, you are probably aware of the different things you need to do to take care of yourself. You have most likely already made several changes to your lifestyle including your diet and your activity level. Kidney patients need to get exercise to stay healthy and staying active might even improve your condition. But depending on your circumstances, you might need fitness tips to stay safe and healthy while working out.

Kidney Patient Fitness Tips

You need to stay active to stay healthy. Kidney patients can usually participate in many types of exercise, including more vigorous routines. However, sometimes precautions are needed if a patient is on dialysis or has recently had a change in their diagnosis. These fitness tips should help keep you on track.

Types of Exercises to Do

The National Kidney Foundation recommends that kidney patients choose continuous activities that move large muscle groups continuously. Examples of continuous exercise include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Skiing

Doing some low-level strength training is also a good fitness tip for kidney patients. Just stick with low weights and high repetitions. Stay away from heavy lifting.

Workout Length & Intensity

The next fitness tip is about how long you should exercise and how hard you should work.

  • Aim for 30 minutes of activity per workout session
    • You can work up to this time if needed
    • If you want to work out for longer, go for it! Just listen to your body for signs you need to slow down or stop.
  • Warm-up at the beginning of every session
  • Start slowing down near the end of your workout to cool off and wind down
  • Don’t work out so hard you are too sore to exercise again
  • Adjust your intensity based on how you feel after your workout
    • You should feel completely normal within an hour of exercising

When to Work Out

You should exercise at least three days a week. However, if you have the time and energy to do more, go for it as long as you don’t overdo it. The recommendation is that you exercise on non-consecutive days (every other day).

Here are some fitness tips on how to schedule your workouts:

  • Avoid the times of day when it is very hot
  • Wait at least an hour after a large meal
  • Don’t exercise less than an hour before bedtime
  • Morning or evening seems to be the best time for most people toe exercise

When to Take a Break

It’s important that you stick with your routine even on days when you don’t feel like exercising. And you should aim for at least 30 minutes each session. However, there are some things that will signal you to take a break. Take this fitness tip and stop your workout and take a break if you:

  • Feel very tired
  • Have trouble catching your breath
  • Feel chest pain
  • Get leg cramps
  • Feel irregular or rapid heartbeats
  • Feel nauseous or sick to your stomach
  • Are dizzy or light-headed

If it’s very hot or you have eaten too much recently, hold off a while. Sometimes you should consult your doctor before resuming your workout routine. Talk to your doctor before exercising if you:

  • Have changed your dialysis schedule
  • Have experienced a change in your physical condition
  • Have a fever

Make an Appointment

At Durham Nephrology, we provide comprehensive care to patients in Durham and Oxford, NC with kidney disease and high blood pressure. Our team is experienced in providing treatment and guidance to kidney patients. If you have questions about exercising when you have kidney disease, call us at  919-477-3005 to talk to a staff member and make an appointment

fitness tipsWhen you visit our offices, you can be confident that we are taking the necessary precautions to protect the health of our patients as well as our staff. We are following all guidelines for sanitization, social distancing, and face coverings.


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