After having my second child, exercise became almost non-existent. Though I felt we were active as a family, and homeschoolers, my physical activity was few and far between. After being diagnosed with CKD I knew a total lifestyle change was warranted. Exercise always seemed like a chore, something I had to do, especially in the beginning. Being out of shape I got tired very quickly and ran out of steam. Now exercise is something I do every day because of the benefits to my life. You will not see being skinny, or weight loss as part of my reasons to exercise. I have moved past all that to be the healthiest and happiest I can be.
So, what are my top 10 reasons to exercise?
1- To increase and improve balance. Before I was diagnosed I was very unsteady and would sometimes fall. No one was sure why and I was deemed clumsy. A lot of it had to do with the toxins that had built up in my body, but some of it was due to lack of exercise and balance training.
2- To increase and or maintain muscle strength. Anyone who has kidney disease knows how exhausting it can be, and muscle wasting is a huge risk especially for dialysis people.
3- To increase and or maintain bone strength. Another risk for kidney patients is the risk of bone fractures. Weight-bearing exercises can play an important role in maintaining bone health.
4- To keep my lungs healthy. Exercising increases oxygen demand and keeps the lungs working efficiently. Especially right now with Coronavirus and the ill effects, it has on the lungs.
5- For heart health. The heart is a muscle and probably the most important muscle in the body. Exercise works your heart muscle making it stronger.
6- To relieve stress. Stress is sometimes called a silent killer. It wears you down, and your body. It causes damage that often is invisible. Exercise is a great stress reliever and setting a time every day to exercise will help you make it a routine in your day.
7- Sweating helps remove toxins from the body. Now mostly it will be sodium, but if you have kidney disease sweat from exercise can help remove excess sodium. Obviously, you have to be wise here. Too low of a sodium level in the body can be just as dangerous as an excess.
8- I like my body changes. My body has changed over the last year and a half when I started exercising on a regular basis. I am firmer, stronger, and leaner. I am never going to be thin, but I can feel more fit and fabulous.
9- Better sleep. I work out in the morning, and some studies say don’t work out before bedtime. But, I say if you can work out and go to sleep then do it, rather than not. I sleep so much better when I have had a good exercise day.
10- Brain health. Just like with the heart, exercise increases blood flow and oxygenation to the brain. This can only be a positive thing. Exercise your brain!
Do you exercise? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments.