It is love your heart month, and heart health awareness. Today, we will discuss exercise, and how it can reduce your risk for Cardiac disease, but also as it relates to people with CKD. Remember, everyone is different, and for some people exercise may not reduce the risk. Always ask your doctor before beginning an exercise routine, especially if you plan on doing more than a basic walking routine. Vigorous exercise can be dangerous for some people, and for people with CKD studies show that vigorous exercise may increase Creatinine levels, at least for short periods of time.
I did a post on walking, a couple weeks ago. You can find it in the archives. Most anyone can walk, and unless your doctor tells you no exercise, than chances are good you can walk too. For me, I have CKD stage 3, I try to aim for 50-60% intensity of my Maximum Heart Rate. To find your MHR you subtract your age from 220, then figure out 50% of that. So, for my age my MHR would be 85 beats a minute, at 50% intensity. I try to stay in that range.
Of course vigorous exercise is going to have a higher risk reduction. According to medical websites, up to 25% risk reduction if you exercise vigorously, of cardiac disease risk. For me, who works out moderately, it is only 10% risk reduction of reduction to cardiac risk. But, for me I can’t risk my one good kidney for an organ that right now is functioning fine. Now that may change in the future. Vigorous exercise would be running, jogging, bike riding, or aerobics etc. Moderate exercise would be walking, yard work, or golfing. Low intensity aerobics can also fit under moderate exercise. I recommend anyone starting out, do a walking program first. This will increase your strength, and circulation, preparing you for a higher endurance program. I am announcing my Walking Buddy program today, see the details at the end of this article.
Using weights also adds to the cardiac risk reduction. However, again if you have CKD this can raise your Creatinine levels. So, kidney websites recommend doing Pilates, or Yoga for toning, instead of weight lifting. I have not started either of those yet, but I intend to.
Even 15 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity will benefit your heart. The goal is to eventually build up to 60 minutes, at least 5 days a week. But, if you can only do 5 or 10 minutes a couple days a week, then start there. It is important to start somewhere. Any activity is better than no activity at all. Your heart is a muscle, and like any muscle it will take time, and work to make it stronger.
Know to watch for warning signals, especially if you have CKD, or an already underlying cardiac disease. You do want to have difficulty carrying on a full conversation, but you don’t want to be breathing so hard that you are gasping for air, or can’t speak at all. That is a sign that you are working too hard, and you need to stop, and rest. Learn to check your heart rate, before, during and after you exercise. Remember you want to stay within the MHR, as stated above. The older you are the lower your MHR will be, so it is imperative you always speak to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Walking around your house is not an exercise program. We all walk. Fitness walking is an exercise program, and is more intense. You will expect to have some muscle pain, after exercising, especially if you are sedentary. But, chest pain, pain in jaw, or neck, or any intense pain anywhere, can be indicative of an issue and you should stop and rest right away. Also make sure you stay hydrated. Drink before, during and after. Don’t exercise in intense heat. The goal is not to be a super athlete but to decrease your risk of cardiac disease.
So, if you want, or need a Walking Buddy, check out my new monthly plan: The cost is 125 dollars per month. You get two, 30 minute walking sessions per week. The walking will occur over the phone. So, while we walk we can talk, visit, encourage, etc. We can walk indoors or outdoors. Obviously if you choose outdoors you will need a cell phone, or a portable phone if you want to start by walking around your yard or home. There are online walking programs we can use if you are home bound, or weather related issues. I still can only accept 4 clients a month, so if you are interested in this plan use the contact button for a free meet and greet. Please note, if you already have an underlying medical issue I may require you to get a release from your doctor, depending on the degree of your disease. We will discuss hydration, heart rate monitoring, and duration. Be sure to always read my disclaimer below. I am a health coach, not a fitness expert.
One more update about the Carb Cycling meal plan I have been following. I lost 3 pounds this week, and even cheated on one day. I will do a future post on Carb Cycling, maybe when I do the diet day. Because, I only work out at the moderate level, losing weight is hard without diet adjustments.