Can Lifting Weights Make Your Kidneys Healthier?

aerobic and resistance exercises can help chronic kidney disease

A study made by the researchers of the University of Leicester has shown that non-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients who performed a combined aerobic and resistance exercises for 12 weeks of at least 3 times a week experienced significant increases in strength, leg muscle size and cardiorespiratory fitness. While patients doing plain aerobic exercise had demonstrated positive changes, the addition of a resistance exercise obviously provided greater increases in muscle mass and strength as compared to simply doing the aerobic exercise alone.


Aerobic exercises are often referred to as the cardio exercises, such as treadmill walking, cycling and rowing, cardio machines, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking, dancing, cross country skiing, climbing steps, biking and kickboxing. If you are confused about the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercises, just think about the level of intensity by which these activities are being performed.


Anaerobic exercise is characterized by brief, intense bursts of physical activity where the oxygen demand surpassed the supply of oxygen. It is sometimes called as an activity without oxygen.


Aerobic exercises stimulate the heart rate and breathing, which caused you to pump more blood with each heartbeat. The bottom line is that the intensity at which you perform an activity determines if it’s aerobic or anaerobic.


A conditioned heart has greater diameter and mass, because the heart’s muscle gets bigger when you train it. This means more blood fills the chambers of the heart before they pump and allows more blood being pumped with each beat.



Aerobic exercises help keep your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy while the anaerobic exercises build and maintain the body’s lean muscle mass, protect your joints, increase muscle strength and muscle mass, improve your energy and increase bone strength and density.


The study showed that patients doing combined aerobic and resistance exercises demonstrated a greater increase in muscle mass for at least 9% compared to 5% and an increase in strength for at least 49% compared to 17% than performing the aerobic exercise alone.


The researchers noted that any changes seen in the aspects of strength, fitness and muscle mass were the benefits and result of the supervised exercises performed by the patients. The concept behind this is how a patient may be able to counteract a low protein diet when they got a chronic kidney disease.


As you can see, doctors often recommend a low protein diet for patients with a kidney disease, because it can help delay worsening of the disease. However, if you do not eat protein, you are going to lose muscle mass.


When a person loses muscle mass, he may experience weakness and is less able to carry out the usual day to day activities. If the patient lifts weights through resistance training, it may help lessen the possibility of losing muscle mass because the exercise tends to build up the muscle.


The study was conducted to find out how a patient with a kidney disease may be able to preserve the muscle under a low protein diet. A low protein diet is often referred as muscle wasting, because it is characterized by muscle loss.


Lifting weights through resistance training appears to help counteract the muscle loss that occurs when a person eats a low protein diet and as a result, prevent the worsening of kidney disease. Patients with kidney disease may be able to live more normal lives this way.


Resistance Strength Training Exercises are better than a low protein diet



Here is the thing. As I have always said in any of my articles. Never overdo anything, because instead of gaining more benefits, your health goes downhill!


Weight lifting may keep the muscles vibrant and strong, but should not be overdone. This exercise should be approached in a manner that does not overwhelm you.


You should start slowly with lighter weights and then build progressively to avoid a threatening, but overlooked condition known as rhabdomyolysis.


Rhabdomyolysis is a serious syndrome caused by a direct or indirect muscle injury, which results from the death of muscle fibers and the release of their contents into the bloodstream. This can lead to serious complications, such as a renal kidney failure. Having a kidney failure makes it difficult to remove waste and concentrated urine.


A rhabdomyolysis occurs when muscle damage is done after trying to lift too much weight or lifting with such frequent repetition that it prevents the taxed muscles from resting. When this happens, the muscle fibers may break down and die.


The moment these fibers enter the bloodstream, they start to create kidney problems, and in some worse cases, a possible kidney failure. Severe cases may need a kidney dialysis.


The symptoms to watch for are muscle weakness, nausea, fever, feeling of sickness, bruising, lack of urine or having a dark colored urine, fatigue and vomiting. The best prevention is exercising with common sense. As soon as you feel prolonged muscle fatigue or more than 30 seconds or so, stop what you are doing and rest.


Resistance Training For Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease

Source: Leicester


How safe is what you think is safe for you? Physical fitness training is very important in today’s generation. With routine combined aerobic and resistance exercises, you improve muscle functioning and increase muscle strength in addition to lower levels of blood fats and better blood pressure control.


Exercise at least three days a week. This is the minimum required for you to achieve the benefits of your exercise. Start slowly and progress gradually so your body can adapt to the increased levels of activity.


Stop exercising when your breathing becomes too hard that you are unable to talk anymore. The intensity should be a comfortable push level that you should not feel so much muscle soreness that may keep you from exercising the next session. Pick up your pace and slow down again when you are about to finish.




University of Leicester


extreme strength training may damage kidneys


Keep in mind. Never overdo your exercise. When muscles are severely damaged, the protein myoglobin is released into the bloodstream and may trigger kidney problems. Take note that this molecule is large and difficult to pass through the body’s filtration system.


The muscle damage and tissue breakdown can lead to kidney damage or failure if left untreated. Another thing, do not forget to drink water during the workout.


When performing your resistance exercise or strength training exercises, do not push yourself extremely hard to the point of muscle exhaustion and damage. Whether you are new to a workout or you have done the exercise a hundred of times before, it’s all about the level of exertion.


Rhabdomyolysis can sneak up on you. The best way to avoid out is not going beyond your limits or doing something you have never done before, because pushing yourself too hard may put you at risk.


Yes, it is true that lifting weights can help patients with a chronic kidney disease, but exerting too much effort can also lead to rhabdomyolysis. The rule? Combined the exercises safely and never overdo anything. Strength training or any aerobic exercises are good as long as you don’t push it too hard and do it within your limits.

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