Kidney patients may reduce their chance of death and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant if they take regular walks, according to a new study.
The study was conducted by Taiwanese researchers from the China Medical University Hospital and published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Chronic kidney disease is the condition wherein you gradually lose control of your kidney function. As it worsens, the kidney may fail to remove excess water and waste from your body. As the waste accumulates, this may cause anemia, high blood pressure, poor nutritional health, and nerve damage, among other health problems.
The final stage of the condition being kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease. This is when the patient would need dialysis or a kidney transplant to prolong life.
Kidney patients usually do not have enough energy and experience fatigue, which can limit their physical ability. However, this new study wanted to test whether walking could help the patients improve their condition and their odds in maintaining life.
Effects of Walking
The researchers found out that routine walking for less than 30 minutes once a week can benefit chronic kidney disease patients. The longer and more frequent the walks are, the more helpful they would be to the patients.
The team studied over 6,300 participants who are Taiwanese suffering from chronic kidney disease with an average age of 70 years old. They were observed for 1.3 years. About 21% of the participants considered walking as their main exercise.
The study showed that participants who walk for exercise had 21% less chance of needing a kidney transplant or dialysis and had 33% less chances of dying, relative to participants who never tried walking for exercise.
The study also showed that the more the patients walk, the better their odds are of not dying. Patients who walked 3-4 times each week had 28% less chance of dying; those who walked 5-6 times had 58%; and those who walked 7 times or more had 59%. Those who walked 1-2 times more each week had 19% less chance of requiring a kidney transplant or dialysis; those who walked 3-4 times more had 27%; those who walked 5-6 times had 43%; and those who walked 7 times or more had 44%.
Walking does not only help kidney patients. It can also help seniors who are 65 years or older to lessen the possibility of a heart attack. An American Cancer Society’s 2013 research also showed that walking may also lessen the risks of postmenopausal women from getting breast cancer.
You can learn more about walking and its benefits for kidney patients in the links below.