Exercise and nutrition play an essential role for alleviating kidney disease. Staying physically active and consuming a diet that is ‘kidney-friendly’ can help improve kidney function and overall health.
What is a kidney-friendly diet? It’s a diet that does not harm or interfere with kidney function. Both diabetes and blood pressure are risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) so diets that work to prevent these diseases are kidney-friendly.
Diabetes prevention requires a balanced diet consisting of adequate macronutrients (fats, carbs, protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) is important to consume on a regular basis. Blood pressure is linked with excess sodium, so limiting your daily sodium intake to less than two grams per day if you have health issues with blood pressure may help. Practical ways to reduce sodium intake is to choose foods with low sodium while shopping, limiting packaged or processed foods, and cooking more often rather than eating out. In general, limiting your animal protein intake and ensuring adequate consumption of vegetables and fruits are recommended.
The guidance of a doctor and/or a dietitian can help guide you through your journey.
Adequate exercise is also beneficial in improving kidney function. Regular exercise aids in reducing blood pressure, maintaining muscle tissue, and improving overall health. Health professionals recommend at least 30 min of low-intensity exercise (e.g. walking) five times per week. While it might be difficult to incorporate on a regular basis initially, starting and committing to a sustainable exercise routine is very important.