So you are a kidney patient and your doctor advises you to get some exercise, to keep as fit as possible and help your condition as much as you can. You’re planning on bike rides, three or four times a week. Naturally you know that you can’t overdo it, but what sorts of things should you keep in mind as you get started?
If you are on dialysis, you may work at a lower level than otherwise, but there is still much you can do. All kidney patients should begin with gradual stretching to warm up. Dialysis in particular can create possible thigh problems, so ease slowly into your exercise session. After you’ve increased your pace for a while, slow down again and ease out of the session just as carefully.
Exercise every other day, three times a week, in the morning if possible, though evening will also do. The main thing is to avoid the hottest part of the day. Be sure not to exercise just before bedtime, or you might not sleep that well. Give yourself at least an hour to wind down afterwards. And if you don’t feel completely normal an hour after exercising — whenever you do it — then you’re working yourself too hard.
Those in the know suggest that if you are exercising so hard that you’re unable to talk with someone while you do it, you’re overdoing things. Always monitor your own condition during the exercising, and after it’s over. Walking, swimming, and cycling are good exercises, and you can even lift weights, if you start small and slowly work up to higher levels.
Having kidney disease does not mean you must stop everything. In fact, that will only lessen your body’s strength and make it less able to cope with the disease. If you exercise in a way that doesn’t push too hard, your general health will only benefit.