Chief Dietician, NephroPlus
When you are on dialysis, your doctor may recommend that you get outside for some exercise, such as walking for at least 30 minutes a day. But what if the weather isn’t exactly right for a walk around your or due to these COVID times your scared to step out? you can still get the exercise you need indoors. There are many indoor exercises you can do on dialysis, but before you start any type of exercise, it is suggested that you ask your Nephrologist which exercises are best for you personally.
A dialysis lifestyle with limited physical activity can increase the risk of depression, high blood pressure, weakened immune function, heart disease and swelling in the feet and legs. Many dialysis patients think they cannot do any exercise because they can’t do “normal” exercise. However, even a little regular exercise for short periods like 15 to 20 minutes can help them feel better.
Why is exercise important for people on dialysis?
Exercise is important for people on dialysis because it promotes a healthier lifestyle. It makes your mood better and helps you in numerous ways such as:
- Improves digestion
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- Reduces depression
- Increases energy levels
- Helps you sleep better
- Lowers Blood pressure and Sugar levels
- Reduces overall stress
What kind of Indoor exercises can you do?
There are a number of indoor activities (not conventional exercise) which people on dialysis can do as a form of exercise. Carrying out different chores around the house, playing with your kids or grandchildren, or organizing a room can get you out of your seat and up on your feet.
- STRETCH: – Stretching helps warm up the muscles that you plan to work out by getting the blood circulating throughout your body. Ask your doctor about the types of stretching you can do and the right way to do it. Ask if there are any precautions you need to take so you do not harm your vascular access.
- INDOOR CARDIO: –This type of exercises is for your heart. One may walk on a slow pace on a home treadmill or jog at one place or climb the stairs up and down with support. DO NOT over exert your cardiac muscles and go slow.
- YOGA AND FLEXIBILITY EXERCISES:- Asanas which help your body to flex and breathing exercises can be performed on an everyday basis. Meditation and Yoga helps to keep your mind free of stress and tensions. Sit ups, squats,calf raises,dips,pull ups etc. can easily be performed by a dialysis individual.
- FREESTYLE DANCE:- Play and groove to your favourite music or watch online for some light dance moves that keeps you pumping.
If you exercise hard enough indoors, you will likely work up a sweat. It is important to be aware of your fluid intake when you are on dialysis. These indoor exercises are great ways to get you moving, and help your heart, too. Small, everyday activities are a must to keep you fit however, consult your doctor before planning your daily exercise schedule and the Do’s and Don’ts for you.