The Do's and Don'ts of Working Out with CKD

Mar 1, 2019

Some dialysis patients worry they can no longer exercise. In fact, the opposite is true.

Regardless of what stage of CKD, exercise is important, and regular exercise has shown to be beneficial to those with CKD even those on dialysis. Regular workouts can help lower blood lipids, improve insulin resistance, increase energy and endurance, control blood pleasure, manage body weight, and improve sleep, among other benefits.


  • DO talk to your nephrologist and family doctors before starting an exercise program. Get their advice on what exercise and frequency is best for you.

  • DO try to stick to a regular schedule when it comes to working out. Being disciplined about your workout routine can help motivate you during times when you think you might not be able to do any exercising.

  • DO consult your doctor if you have any joint or bone problems which get worse while exercising or if any change occurs with your medicine or dialysis schedule.

  • DO let your body get used to the level of activity. It’s important to start slow and progress gradually to make sure you’re adapting to the level of workout. Start each session with a warm up, pick up the pace, and then slow down once you’re close to the end of the session.

  • DO grab a work out buddy. Everyone can benefit from more gentle exercise.

  • DON’T exercise within an hour of going to bed. Many find the mornings are the best time.

  • DON’T push yourself. Stop if you feel short of breath, chest pain, leg cramps, stomach sickness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, or if you’re feeling tired, light-headed or dizzy.

  • DON’T ignore your diet. Nutrition and working out go hand in hand. Do not consume any restricted foods. In case of increased appetite, talk to your renal dietitian and ask for coaching in order to make sure that your calorie intake is adequate.

Do not let yourself become discouraged when it comes to exercising. Speak with your doctor or social worker about a routine that is best for you.

Categories: Kidneys, News