Physical fitness is important to every living creature. While with many parts of the body, we can see a direct correlation between being physically active and the impact on the body, other connections have been made that aren’t so easily explainable, but are none the less present.
Dr. Laura F. DeFina of The Cooper Institute in Dallas studied 17,979 participants in which a total of 2,022 cases of Chronic Kidney Disease occurred. When she compared subjects, mainly those who had a low fitness level to those with moderate to high fitness levels, she noted that they had a 24% and 34% lower risk, respectively, of developing Chronic Kidney Disease compared to those with who partook in no physical activity.
Kidney disease is a chronic and progressive disease. As it develops, it gradually becomes more and more severe; and ultimately more time consuming, costly and unpleasant to treat. By the time Stage 5 comes, the last and final stage, liver function is less than 15% and it is only through the use of dialysis that the individual can still survive. At this point, the disease becomes completely incurable.
Given the high cost of managing Stage 5 or end-stage renal disease, it further demonstrates the importance of prevention.
According to Dr. DeFina, “Our findings support a role for enhancing fitness through regular physical activity in preventive strategies for CKD(Chronic Kidney Disease).”
So what does healthy living and an overall fit lifestyle look like in opposition to Chronic Kidney Disease?
Well, physical exercise is a great start. Not only will it leave you feeling better, but it will improve muscle function, increase blood pressure control, improve strength, lower the level of fats found in the blood (cholesterol and triglycerides), promote healthy sleep and help control weight.
As any truly healthy person will tell you, physical fitness is only half the equation to fit living. In order to receive all the benefits of exercising, you need to properly fuel your body so that it gets all the nutrients it needs to keep going. While this is important to overall health, there are some key foods that further promote good kidney health.
Red bell peppers are an excellent choice as they are particularly low in potassium. Cruciferous vegetables are great because they filled with phytochemical’s. Other healthy foods that promote strong kidney function are cauliflower, garlic, apples, blueberries and cranberries.
From a medical point of view, it might be difficult to make a direct correlation between physical fitness and its impact on the kidneys. However, what cannot be argued is how many studies have shown that people who find themselves in overall better physical health then others, are much less likely to develop chronic diseases and ailments.
As the saying goes, a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.