How often do you hear that exercise is good for your body? Exercise can do your body a world of good, and it helps your internal organs as well. You may not think of exercise as providing any benefits to your kidneys, but it can strengthen those important organs and improve your overall health in the process. The health of your kidneys is crucial for their proper function in the body. There are exercises that you can do to improve kidney health, which can serve as a preventative measure against developing kidney problems or help those already suffering from kidney disease. For more information on kidney and overall health, call AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale today. 

Types of Exercises for Kidney Health

Exercise for your kidney health should have cardiovascular/aerobic, resistance, and stretching components. Each exercise offers different health benefits, and having a balanced exercise program that incorporates all three is ideal.

Before you begin any kind of exercise, it’s crucial to warm up the muscles. A little bit of light cardio for 5 to 10 minutes can get you ready for your exercise routine, where you’ll work a little harder.

Aerobic/Cardiovascular Exercise

Aerobic exercise includes running, jogging, walking, stair climbing, chair exercises, swimming, or cycling. It’s an exercise that requires large muscles, increasing your heart rate and breathing, and delivering oxygen to your muscles and organs in the body. Your entire body benefits from these types of exercises, including your kidneys. Include 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in your workout plan. If you have kidney disease, you may want to talk to your doctor about an exercise plan that is appropriate for you. 

Resistance Exercise

Resistance exercise emphasizes muscle strengthening and commonly involves the use of weightlifting equipment. However, that is not always the case because you can use your body weight and exercise bands, for example, to strengthen your muscles. People who suffer from kidney disease especially tend to experience muscle weakness and wasting. With the help of resistance exercise, they can improve muscle strength. For those who do not suffer from kidney disease, your kidney could enjoy the same strength benefit as well. If you have a gym membership, work with a trainer to show you how to use the equipment and the correct form to maintain when doing your exercises. You may even be able to do your resistance exercise at home if you can manage without a trainer. Always begin slowly and with resistance or weight that’s manageable, focusing on large muscles.


Stretching is a gentle form of exercise that almost any person can do. It’s not only good for your muscles but your joints as well. Stretching exercises strengthen and loosen your muscles and joints. Preserving your full range of muscle and joint movement is crucial to mobility and thoroughly enjoying your daily activities. Perform stretches during warm-up and when cooling down. You could also have an exercise session that’s entirely focused on stretching. Breathing and maintaining good posture is key when stretching.

How Long to Exercise & When to Stop

When doing aerobic/cardiovascular exercise, try and get at least 20- 30 minutes a day, 3 or 4 days out of the week. You could choose to workout on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, or Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. If you can go beyond 30 minutes, feel free to do so. It’s about your fitness level and exercise goals.

It’s possible to overdo it exercising, and certain things could happen that are reasons to stop exercising. Stop exercising if any of the following occurs:

  • Experience chest pain or pressure
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Dizzy feeling
  • Leg cramps
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Sick feeling
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive muscle pain

Furthermore, if you haven’t consulted with your doctor and should, before exercising, stop immediately.

Additional Factors for Kidney Health

Besides exercise, several other factors are equally crucial to kidney health. These include:

  • Maintaining blood sugar and blood pressure at goal or optimal levels
  • Eating a healthy, nutritious diet, limiting salt intake
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay hydrated-drink plenty of water
  • Control weight

Exercise can help to keep your kidneys in shape and help to slow the progression of kidney disease. Before you begin exercising, talk with your doctor about the best approach and the best exercises for you.