Being inactive increases the risk of developing long term health problems such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, dementia, depression – the list seems to get longer all the time. In fact, being inactive is rather risky behavior!
Exercise Is Medicine!
As well as helping to prevent health problems, exercise is now being used as part of the treatment of many of the diseases listed above. But what about kidney disease? Research shows that appropriate exercise is beneficial for kidney patients, but many kidney patients do not have the opportunity or believe they cannot exercise. But most can exercise, and exercise can have benefits for adults of all ages. It will help you feel better, stronger, and more in control of your health. You just have to tailor the exercise to you and your circumstances. Whether you want to return to work, do daily household activities, or manage your own health care, exercise will help you.
Having kidney issues also makes it more likely that you will develop heart disease as well. Although each organ has its specific functions, organs also function together in groups, called organ systems. Doctors categorize disorders and their own medical specialties according to organ systems.
Some examples of organ systems and their functions include the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and the musculoskeletal system.
Organ systems work together
Organ systems often work together to do complicated tasks. For example, after a large meal is eaten, several organ systems work together to help the digestive system obtain more blood to perform its functions. The digestive system enlists the aid of the cardiovascular system and the nervous system. Blood vessels of the digestive system widen to transport more blood. Nerve impulses are sent to the brain, notifying it of the increased digestive activity. The digestive system even directly stimulates the heart through nerve impulses and chemicals released into the bloodstream. The heart responds by pumping more blood. The brain responds by perceiving less hunger, more fullness, and less interest in vigorous physical (musculoskeletal system) activity, which preserves more blood to be used by the digestive system instead of by skeletal muscles.
Communication between organs and organ systems is vital. Communication allows the body to adjust the function of each organ according to the needs of the whole body. In the example above, the heart needs to know when the digestive organs need more blood so that it can pump more. When the heart knows that the body is resting, it can pump less. The kidneys must know when the body has too much fluid, so that they can produce more urine, and when the body is dehydrated, so that they can conserve water.
Exercise helps your organs
It’s particularly important to look after your heart, for example by giving up smoking and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. In addition, regular exercise really helps to protect your heart and keep it in good shape by lowering blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, preventing diabetes, and improving the condition of the blood vessels.
Exercise keeps your muscles strong.
People with kidney disease often notice that they feel weaker and more tired than they used to, and that their muscles tend to shrink and waste away. This happens to everyone if they don’t use their muscles and keep them strong, but it can be worse if your kidneys don’t work properly because of the extra toxins in the blood.
Muscles are really important for everyone – not only weightlifters and gym bunnies, but anyone who just wants to be able move around, climb the stairs or get up out of a chair. Muscles are also important for general health because they control the way the body uses blood sugar and fat. Having good muscles and using them regularly really helps to prevent diabetes and keep the heart healthy.
Exercise helps you to live a better life.
Being physically activity can help you keep doing the things you enjoy and that are important to you – be it playing a round of golf, taking your grandchildren to the park, walking round the shops on a Saturday afternoon, or being able to climb the stairs and look after yourself in your own home. If you don’t keep yourself active, your fitness will decline and there will come a time when you won’t be able to do those things anymore.
Everyone has the capacity to improve their physical condition and get stronger, no matter where they start from. In fact, the least active people tend to notice the biggest improvements when they take up exercise. So, have you decided to get in training for a better and healthier life?
Types of Exercise
A good exercise program consists of three different kinds of exercise: cardiovascular/aerobic (Cardiovascular System, Respiratory System)), resistance (for musculoskeletal System) and stretching for flexibility. Each of these has different health benefits and you should try to do some of each kind.
Aerobic exercise- This is a continuous activity such as walking or cycling, using large muscles, especially the legs. It benefits your whole body and makes you feel good. Think about what kind of thing you enjoy.
Most people like walking. This is an ideal exercise and a good way to start. Others may want to do something else such as cycling, swimming, dancing or using gym equipment. Aerobic exercise benefits multiple organ systems and organs.
Resistance exercise- This is where you move some type of resistance (such as your bodyweight or a dumbbell) in a way which is hard enough so that you can only do it a few times. Resistance exercise is used for muscle strengthening but will also benefit your whole body. Kidney patients often suffer from muscle weakness and wasting, and resistance exercise can help with this. Building stronger muscles will help you do other forms of exercise more easily and also help you with your everyday activities.
If you go to the gym, you can use the machines and equipment there – ask the staff to show you how. But you can do resistance training at home too, using simple things like cans of beans! Just follow some simple guidance. Lift weights slowly, using very controlled movements, and keep going until your muscles tire – this will tell them that they need to get stronger. Choose a weight that you can lift 10-12 times before you need to rest - you may need lighter or heavier weights for different exercises. Keep breathing normally, don’t hold your breath, and avoid lifting weights above your head. Concentrate on the large muscles in your lower body (legs) as these are the ones that will help you most in your everyday activities.
S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g Stretching is something almost all patients can do. It is important to keep your joints working smoothly and preserve your full range of movement. Consider practicing yoga stretches a few times a week. Having a flexible body will help with all your everyday activities, as well as making exercise easier. Do each stretch to the point where you can feel the tension, but without causing pain.
Properly functioning organ systems will facilitate your efforts in pathology prevention, and help your body maintain a good balance. When you are fighting a particular disease or trauma, exercise, even mild exercise, can go a long way toward better health.
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