"Focusing on diet and exercise helped delay dialysis" YouTube video

Physical activity is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. It allows you to maintain your mobility and independence, while helping you feel better about yourself.

Benefits of regular exercise include: increased strength and endurance, improved blood pressure control, increased energy, improved range of motion, increased bone density and improved mood.

Start slowly and increase the activity gradually so that your body can adapt to exercise. Listen to your body! You should start off at a level that your body is capable of tolerating safely. A good exercise routine includes a warm-up and cool-down to allow the muscles time to adapt to the demands you are placing on them. Remember that many factors must be taken into consideration before starting an exercise program.

There are three important types of exercises that you could include in your routine: Flexibility Exercises, Aerobic Exercises, and Strengthening Exercises.

  1. Flexibility Exercises include gentle stretching of tight muscles. These exercises are completed slowly and held for approximately 15-20 seconds and repeated as appropriate.
  2. Aerobic Exercises include any activity that works the heart and lungs, while improving oxygenation. This can include walking, cycling, or swimming.
  3. Strengthening Exercises include any activity that increases muscle strength. This type of exercise is important for maintaining the ability to perform functional activities and can include, but is not limited to, the use of free weights and elastic resistance bands. This type of exercise should be performed at least 2 times per week.

The above exercises are a general description of the types of exercises that are beneficial to maintain health and wellness. Nevertheless, you will need to follow up with your renal health care team to ensure these exercises are right for you.

Please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website: www.publichealth.gc.ca and search for Physical Activity for more details.