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Tips for Staying Active While on Dialysis

Being on dialysis does not mean you are confined to a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, being active while on dialysis has several benefits. Continuing to work, volunteer, and exercise can improve your overall well-being while on dialysis because it provides a sense of normalcy. While most activities are just fine while you are on dialysis, it is important to consult your doctor about rigorous exercise regiments that may interfere with your treatment.

Staying active while on dialysis provides several benefits. A kidney failure diagnosis may encourage you to feel like you must stay home or that your life revolves around dialysis; however, resisting this feeling and continuing your routines can increase your self-esteem.  If you enjoy your career, volunteering at a local community center, or spending time with your family, those things do not have to change. Maintaining these activities are a sign that you have control of your diagnosis, and it does not have control over you. You can thrive off mental stimulation from these activities, helping you manage your health. Continue to remain active in the ways you had prior to your diagnosis. Spend time socializing with your colleagues, friends, and family, and don’t let your active lifestyle diminish because of your dialysis.

The benefits of a physically active lifestyle have been proven repeatedly across medical diagnoses, and the same is true of kidney failure. Physical activity, whether minimal or rigorous, can add to the energy you receive from your dialysis treatments. There are several types of exercise you can do while on dialysis. If you enjoy cardio, you might consider walks around the neighborhood or in a shopping center. If you want something a little more challenging, there are various cardio workout videos available on YouTube or at your local retail store on DVD or Blu-ray. If you have a gym membership, you might use the stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine to get some cardio in. While on dialysis, you can continue to build muscles and your core by using resistance bands, lifting weights, doing planks or crunches, or using machines at the gym. Any rigorous activities should be discussed with your physician. The easiest way to get some physical activity in without going to the gym is to simply do things around the house. Chores like sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, reorganizing, and doing the laundry can get your heartrate up in the best way.

Staying active can provide normalcy. Doing activities you have always done, and maybe even adding a few, can make dialysis treatments less of an inconvenience. You have a sense of balance when your life does not revolve around your dialysis treatments. Even more, when you have a consistent schedule that includes the activities you enjoy, your dialysis treatments no longer stand out as something that gets in the way of those activities.

The key to staying active while on dialysis is to stay positive. You can use the activities you enjoy most to help you manage kidney disease and dialysis.

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