Healthy bones are constantly growing and changing. To keep your bones strong, your kidneys must maintain the right balance of several important substances. These include phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin D. Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) can develop mineral and bone disorders because the rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation, resulting in a loss of bone quantity and quality.
When you have chronic kidney disease, the body can sometimes struggle to keep the right balance of these substances. This imbalance can lead to bone disease. When bone disease is caused by kidney problems, it is called renal bone disease. Renal bone disease is often referred to as a “silent disease” because the bone changes begin long before symptoms occur.
How to Improve Bone Health One way to help maintain healthy bones is through exercise. Research has shown that aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, or a combined training of the two can have many great impacts on bone health, including;
· Strengthening bones.
· Preventing bone loss.
· Making bones denser and replacing old bone with new bone.
· Improving balance and coordination.
· Helping to prevent falls and fractures.
· Decreasing risk for developing osteoporosis.
In addition to better bone health, exercise has many other health benefits for patients with CKD, such as improved glomerular filtration, reduced cardiovascular risk factors, increases in strength, enhanced quality of life, and other health-related factors.
Types of Exercise for Bone Health The CDC recommends that adults get 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity per week. A combination of these two types of exercise is best for building and maintaining healthy bones:
· Aerobic exercises. These exercises produce a force on bones that makes them work harder. Examples are:
o Brisk walking (3 to 4 miles per hour).
o Jogging or running.
o Tennis, badminton, ping pong, pickleball, and other racket sports.
o Climbing stairs.
· Resistance training exercises (weightlifting). These exercises add resistance to movement to make muscles and bones work harder and become stronger. Examples are:
o Weight machines.
o Free weights.
o Resistance bands.
o Use of your own body weight (such as pushups or squats).
The research is clear that exercise can improve the overall health of those with CKD but can also have a big impact on bone health. Before starting any exercise program, it is best to talk with your physician. Then try to find exercises that you enjoy. It is much easier and more enjoyable to stick with a workout routine that we enjoy and fits into our daily routine. Finally, remember that consistency is key. It can take time to see the real results from exercise, but the time and effort is worth it when it leads to longer, happier, healthier lives.