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Walk, Walk, Walk…

Posted by Reliant Renal Care

Simply Walking More Can Protect From, Or Help Manage, CKD

10,000 steps. That sure seems like a lot of walking! And it is. But many times the barrier people, whether they are living with CKD or simply wish to improve their health, encounter when trying to be healthy is mental. They see big numbers, heavy weight, goals that are 10,000 steps away. But we must work to adjust the thinking and realize that it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. It is not the amount of steps you have to take, but more about how you will start to TAKE those steps.

In the first part of this blog series, we discussed diet and how controlling what foods you eat can dramatically improve quality of life and decrease the risk for Chronic Kidney Disease. Now that you know what eating habits you should be incorporating in your life, we will build on those new eating habits and incorporate walking into the daily routine.

It is proven that walking, especially for individuals over age 50, is an extremely valuable exercise that can improve circulation, blood pressure, muscle density and boost immunity. So, how can you get to 10,000 steps?

Most people try to set aside a certain time of day to exercise. This is great in theory, but there are so many potential pitfalls during the day – like an unexpected meeting, bad weather or a family emergency – that can derail even the most motivated person.

Try to take the following STEPs to reach your walking, and health, goals:

  1. Incorporate walking into your daily routine. There is no need to set aside a certain time. Find time to do three different ten-minute sessions. You can do this while you are doing your daily activities, like hanging up the clothes on a line outside, watering the grass or even taking an extended trip to get the mail.
  2. Park in the furthest parking spot away from a store. Just walking to and from the car will increase your steps.
  3. When shopping, walk up and down each aisle for fun (just don’t buy everything you see).
  4. Go to a local mall—many offer early morning walking times, and you can take advantage of air conditioning.
  5. Find a friend and walk with him or her around your neighborhood or a park, and enjoy the scenery and get in shape together.

Walking is easy if you think about it, and it can be a lifelong activity. It is important to continue to use your muscles and to maintain strength. Simply walking is an excellent way to do this!