Tips on How to Get Moving When You Feel Lousy

With kidney disease we feel like crap.  It’s impossible to make others understand just how miserable we feel all the time.  What we have to do is find ways to make ourselves feel better.  Personally I don’t want to live the rest of my life, long or short, feeling lousy.  Making it a point to move during the day has greatly helped the way I feel, and my outlook on life with PKD.

Make the time to do it.  I sit at the computer for long hours because I work online.  I have no choice but to sit still most of the day.  But the fact that I work from home makes it easier to get up and move throughout the day.  Late morning is my favorite time to go for a walk.  I have to make myself take a break because there is always unfinished work to do.  However, I know that movement will refresh me and make me feel good!

walking path tree field

Pathway by Unsplash at Pixabay

I have to say that you should not listen too closely to what you read about exercise.  I’ve read 90 minute workouts, three times a week are a must.   I’ve read that we need 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of weights is optimal.  There is a lot of advice out there that may keep people from doing anything at all.  Here is my advice:  Do what you want, as long as it gets you up and moving.  Don’t place a time limit on it, and don’t make it a chore.  Never feel guilty that you “didn’t do enough”.

I live in a beautiful area of the US, where we have many good days to get outside and take a walk.  There are bike and walking trails nearby, as well as sidewalks on some main roads.  I live in a rural, uncrowded area and can leave my house and walk for miles along beautiful country roads.  I would be missing out on a great opportunity to get exercise and fresh air if I didn’t go for walks.

I know that not everyone has that.  Make the best of what you have around you.

path in fall forest

Path in Fall Forest

As lousy as I may feel when I begin a walk, I always end up feeling better afterward!  Sometimes I just go around the block, which is about 1/3 of a mile.  Usually I walk 2 miles.  I’ve gauged the mileage from my house so I know how far I can go in all directions to complete a mile.  The point is that I feel better when I get some exercise.

As nice as the weather is much of the year in New England, we have many months of cold, with lots of snow and ice.  I do not ski, and getting outside for exercise is pretty impossible.  During the winter I must exercise inside.  On warmer days, I may find cleared sidewalks downtown, or along main roads.  Currently I don’t have a treadmill, but it’s on my wish-list.  I have stairs to climb, and I can dance to my favorite music.  It’s challenging to find ways to get moving in cold weather, but then again, it warms you up!

winter snow woods path

Winter Photo by cocoparisienne at Pixabay

A friend of mine lives in an apartment complex and he walks the halls and stairwells each morning.  When it’s nice outside he make a few passes around the outside of the building as well.

Use what you have.  Do what you want.  The point is to move – do something – every day.  Yes, even those of us with this disease should get moving.  We may not be able to do what normal people do, but it’s important to try.  And it’s important to keep us as healthy as we can be.  Our kidneys may be conking out, but the rest of our body can be improved upon.  And kidney disease progression may be slowed, or (I like to think) reversed, when we make the effort to move our bods.

I think you will find that you will feel much better once you get some good movement into your daily routine.  After a while it will feel strange if you DON’T get up and move!

Good luck.  Feel better.

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