It’s no secret that exercise is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For most people with chronic kidney disease, staying active can help lower blood pressure, promote better sleep, improve mood, and manage body weight.
When it comes to exercising, there are some mistakes that CKD patients need to avoid. If not, you could be putting yourself at serious risk of injury or other complications. Some of the mistakes aren’t as severe, but they can make your activity less effective if you do them repeatedly.
Exercise Mistakes to Avoid with CKD
Jumping right into vigorous exercise. Once you get your diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, you may feel the urge to sprint up and down your street in order to stay healthy. However, this can put you out of breathe quickly, not to mention cause a great deal of pain – and even an injury!
If you haven’t been active much before learning you have CKD, you want to start slow. Do a 5-10 minute warm up before each exercise session, letting your body get used to the activity before ramping up the pace. Increase your exercise duration or intensity a little each week (every 3-4 sessions) so that you don’t cause a great deal of shock to your body.
Doing the same activities over and over again. Sure, being active at all is beneficial for your health. However, it’s a good idea to mix up your exercises to keep your body from getting too used to the movements. For example, you can do cardio (running, walking, or swimming) one day, then lightweight training the next. Alternating between activities also prevents boredom from setting in!
Forgetting to stretch after exercise. A cool down stretch is just as important as your warm up! Everyone, CKD patients included, benefit from stretching their muscles after an intense workout. Start at the top of your body, stretching your neck, shoulders, and arms. Work your way down, stretching your waist, back, and legs. Make sure are breathing deeply to get oxygen to your spent muscles.
Not being consistent with your exercise. Being active on a sporadic basis isn’t going to do much good if you are trying to manage your weight or blood pressure. You must have an exercise plan in place, and follow through with it on a weekly basis. Speak to your doctor about developing a plan that works for you and your stage of CKD.
Exercising during the worst times of the day. When deciding the best time to work out, think about the rest of your schedule. You don’t want to be active after a large meal or just before bedtime. If you are heading outdoors to exercise, avoid going during the hottest times of the day.
First thing in the morning is a good idea for many, so you can get it out of the way before you begin your day. Plus, it will be cooler during this time of day too!
While exercise is very beneficial to most chronic kidney disease patients, you need to make sure you aren’t making any potentially dangerous mistakes when getting active. Have fun with your activities and make sure you are taking proper precautions to avoid any serious issues!
Also published on Medium.