"Exercising on 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. You can do exercises while on dialysis, or at home, with the guidance of a Physical Therapist if this is determined to be appropriate for you.

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.

Make sure you talk to your nurse practitioner before starting an exercise program to ensure that all of your medical issues have been taken into consideration. There is a physiotherapist available to you through your renal health care team. Your physiotherapist will encourage you to start slowly and increase your activity gradually so that your body can adapt to exercise. They will help you to start at a level that you are able to tolerate.

There are three important types of exercises that could be included 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 or cycling. 

  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. For more information about exercise or an exercise program that is specific to you and your health, please ask to speak with your physiotherapist.

Ask about starting an exercise program today!