Exercise is important for everyone, but especially so for chronic kidney disease patients. In order to keep your body healthy and your kidneys working to the best of their abilities, you must include regular exercise into your daily routine.
Yoga is increasing in popularity for helping to control CKD. It’s benefits have been known to help curb a lot of issues related to this long-term diagnosis.
What is Yoga?
According to the National Institutes of Health website:
“Yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Like other meditative movement practices used for health purposes, various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.”
Many people, healthy and with ailments, use yoga to improve their health, wellbeing, and physical fitness. They may also practice yoga to help maintain specific conditions like anxiety or neck or back pain.
Studies have shown that CKD patients that practice yoga have a better chance of improving renal functions than those that only use conventional treatments. For most, it is seen as a safe therapy to reducing the effects or the disease, and may help to improve your quality of life while you deal with chronic kidney disease.
5 Benefits of Yoga for Chronic Kidney Disease
Yoga can help many people with a variety of ailments and conditions. Specifically, yoga helps those with CKD by:
- Lowering Blood Pressure: Yoga involves meditation, which helps to calm your body and improve blood circulation. This can be a huge benefit for chronic kidney disease, because the condition and hypertension often go hand-in-hand.
- Reducing Stress and Depression: The relaxation techniques in yoga can help you clear your mind and create a more positive outlook on life. While it’s common for CKD patients to experience depression, especially after diagnosis, performing yoga can help to develop coping skills and lower the negative thoughts and feelings.
- Decreasing Water Retention: Many CKD patients have issues with swelling and fluid retention, especially as the condition advances and the kidneys are unable to effectively rid the body of water wastes. Yoga helps to get your body moving, reducing the water being stored in your body. For some patients, yoga could even reduce the amount of dialysis needed!
- Improving Immunity: It’s common for chronic kidney disease patients to be more susceptible to illness. This is because their immune system is compromised, with the level of toxins left in the body since the kidneys aren’t working effectively. With yoga, you can fight to improve immunity against these wastes, helping to flush them out so your kidneys don’t have to work as hard.
- Lowering Blood Sugar Levels: When you practice yoga poses, you are increasing the amount of glucose used by your muscles. This, in turns, help to keep your blood sugar levels low. This is why yoga is so great for diabetics, which is a common cause for impaired kidney function and CKD.
As you can see, yoga is a very beneficial practice for most chronic kidney disease patients. You’ll want to ask your doctor if yoga is right for you, but it is generally a safe way of life that many can benefit from.
Also published on Medium.