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Living Well with Chronic Kidney Disease

Exercise and weight management

When chronic kidney disease patients are overweight, their diet and increased deposits of fat can greatly impact kidney function. It may worsen pre-existing conditions like hypertension, proteinuria, and build up lipids and cholesterol in the body. This can cause the kidneys to work harder to meet your body’s needs causing further damage to the entire body. One way to improve kidney and overall health is by exercising to maintain optimal weight.

The amount of exercise you need depends on your overall health, age and physical capabilities. The recommended level of exercise for an adult is at least 45 to 60 minutes four to five times per week. However, some people, such as the elderly or some patients receiving dialysis, may not be able to follow such a vigorous exercise program. For these individuals walking for 15 minutes at least three times a week may be more beneficial.  

Whatever activities you choose remember to start slowly. Move at a pace that is comfortable for you. You can start with as little as 5 minutes and gradually increase how long and how many times a week you complete an activity. Staying physically active will give you more energy and return to a normal lifestyle.

As you become more active, you’ll have more energy to do more things that you enjoy. Take the time to work on hobbies and spend time with friends and family.

Before you begin, or resume physical activities, talk to your healthcare team about finding a suitable exercise program that is right for you.  They can help you determine an appropriate level of intensity and the activities that should be performed or avoided based on your health needs.