Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Dialysis patients can walk their way to better health.

Everyone should know by now that exercise can improve your health and lead to a better and longer life. But doctors are also recommending the same thing for dialysis patients as well.

A team of Italian scientists have come to the conclusion that a few minutes a day of walking benefits dialysis patients. Although to my mind more than "a few minutes" would be a lot better. Earlier research on this topic shows that exercise has a positive effect on dialysis patients health, and now it's being suggested that exercise should be part of all dialysis patients health regime

In the new study, researchers led by Dr. Carmine Zoccali wanted to see if that was true for even simple activities, such as walking. Zoccali is from the Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Center in Reggio Calabria, Italy. Their research included 296 dialysis patients who were randomly assigned to either a low-intensity exercise program, or a comparison group who underwent no formal exercise program.

The "low-intensity" regimen included 20 minutes of walking at low-to-moderate speeds every second day, with the intensity gradually increasing over six months. The average distance covered during a six-minute walking test in the exercise group gradually improved -- from about 1,100 feet at the start of the study to 1,200 feet six months later. In comparison, the group without the exercise program showed no increase in walking distance, the researchers said.

People who did the walking program also improved in what's known as the "sit-to-stand" test -- a standard test designed to assess lower-body strength in older adults.

Mental function also improved significantly in the exercise group compared to the control group, the researchers reported.

So, don't just sit there, do something!

The study was published Dec. 1 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. You can read this article in full online