Daily Walks Help Kidney Health

People with kidney health concerns know how important it is to take care of themselves. Diet, exercise and a health regime from your doctor can all be great ways to protect your kidneys. A new study has found that adults with kidney concerns who walk between 7,000 and 12,000 steps a day have a high health-related quality of life.

Recent studies have shown that walking, as a daily form exercise in patients with [kidney concerns], may improve cardiopulmonary function, and regulate blood pressure, blood glucose and lipid levels in patients. Moreover, it plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of life of [these people],” said Dr. Jiachuan Xiong. “There is no standard walk to recommend for [kidney] patients. This study aimed to investigate the association between daily walking steps and health-related quality of life.”

The 580 people in the study had kidney health concerns but were not on dialysis. They used a phone app that monitored their steps. The people in the study who walked less than 7,000 steps a day had significantly lower quality of life and mental health.

It’s long been known that getting plenty of exercise is vital for health. But, individual recommendations for specific health concerns aren’t always available. Research like this is essential.

The researchers pointed out that more studies are needed. While the group was almost evenly split along gender lines, everyone was close in age — around 40. “Further investigations are warranted to provide more specific walking doses for patients according to different age groups and physical states,” the researchers wrote.

Making changes can be challenging, but it is possible. An older study using pedometers showed that people with kidney concerns often don’t get as much exercise as they should. The three-month study found that kidney patients frequently perform very low levels of activity. This new study shows just how important it is for them to get moving.

When the people in that study were assigned exercise and given pedometers with weekly step goals, they did well. On average, their steps increased by 2,256 a day. That’s an enormous improvement if you’re largely sedentary! Having a concrete goal in the form of a tracking pedometer helped them a lot.  

If you have health concerns about your blood sugar, kidneys, heart, stress or another area, always speak to your doctor about all of your plans. Your doctor can help you with medication. But, they can also be an excellent guide to talk about your lifestyle, exercise and diet. Medication is only one tool that your doctor provides — they have a ton of health knowledge. They can help you strategize and review diets and health plans with you. They can also refer you to nutritionists, health programs and other incredible resources that you might not be able to access by yourself.

Banner image: Jadson Thomas via Pexels

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