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Consider exercise a part of your dialysis treatment

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Consider exercise a part of your dialysis treatment

Aug 17, 2015

Consider exercise a part of your dialysis treatment

Family-on-Bikes.jpgExercise gets the blood flowing, provides a "pick me up," and helps your body feel alive.  Just because you're on dialysis doesn't mean you get to take a break from exercising.  Think of it as part of your kidney disease treatment.

Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program and, if necessary, work with a physical therapist to identify specific exercises that will help you out the most.

If it has been a while since you exercised, start slow and progress gradually.  Work up to aerobic exercises 3-4 times a week and flexibility and strength training every other day.  Visualize your exercising to help succeed.

The three core aspects of exercising are flexibility, strength, and endurance/aerobic.

 

Flexibility

couple-on-beach.jpgGood flexibility improves your balance, so you can move confidently  without the risk of falling.  Your body can quickly become used to being inactive and joints can stiffen and lose flexibility.  So let's get stretching!

Hold stretches for 15 seconds and don't bounce.  Remember to breathe.  Work your neck, arms, legs, shoulders, and chest.

Try these activities to improve and keep flexible:

- Tai Chi

- Painting a wall

- Yoga

- Dancing

- Gardening

- Chair stretches with your arms and legs

Strength

Research has shown that people 70 and older can double their strength through lifting weights in just a few weeks, so let's get lifting! 

Being stronger gives you independence.  You can walk on your own, carry your own groceries, and even pick up your grandkids.

Some physicians believe that lifting weights can help create a strong access, if you start slowly and build up gradually.  Check with your vascular access doctor for more information.

Try these activities to improve and stay strong:

- Arm and leg curls

- Straight leg lifts

- Sit ups

- Heel raises to work the hamstrings

- Push-ups on a chair

Endurance/Aerobic

Couple-Sledding.jpgAccording to the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, aerobic activity is associated with a healthier quality of life and a lower risk for depressive symptoms and premature death.  So let's get moving!

Endurance/aerobic exercise, gives you more energy by moving your blood faster through your body. This increase in blood flow brings more oxygen to your brain, helping you feel more alert. Exercise also sends out chemicals called endorphins into your blood that give you a natural "high" and fights symptoms of depression.

Try these fun, energetic activities and stay moving:

- Walking

- Dancing

- Water exercises

- Climbing stairs

- Golf

- Tennis

 

Take back some control of your health and body, and feel more like yourself.  Exercise can help you to feel, eat, think and sleep better.

For more information, read more here:  http://lifeoptions.org/catalog/pdfs/booklets/exercise.pdf

- Click here to download a workout log and track your progress



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