The RenalTracker Team
May 17, 2019

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. It has been written and vetted by RenalTracker's team of kidney experts and researchers. The same team was awarded the KidneyX Prize organized by the American Society of Nephrology and HHS for pre-dialysis solution in Washington DC in 2019.   

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Exercises for CKD Patients

Most of the articles we have in this blog have been promoting the renal diet and how you and your kidneys need it. But it's not only proper dieting that's needed for a healthier lifestyle. 

Your body also needs exercise, much like a car needs regular maintenance runs. And, contrary to popular belief, you don't need to go to the gym to maintain good health. Simple outdoors exercises can do the trick for you.

But first, a few things to remember, before you start any exercise... 
  • Never rush exercising and start at full-tilt. You can't achieve health and fitness in one day, so take it easy. Start slow and work your way into new routines. And NEVER FORGET TO STRETCH before and after workout. 
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Avoid boredom by varying your activities, but keep doing it every day. Remember: it's a commitment, not a one-time thing.
  • Wear the appropriate clothes and equipment for the routine you chose. Take into account the weather, temperature, and whether you'll be able to do it outdoors or you need to keep indoors.
  • Get a friend to join you. This makes exercising more fun and it will help you stick to the program in the long run. You can even try competing for goals, just as long as it's a healthy competition.
women in workout clothes
  • Change the exercises you do every day. Vary the routine, length of time, or other factors in your exercise.
  • Always consult your health care provider before you start a new health and fitness program. This is to make sure your plans support your unique physical circumstances and not work against your own body. Your health care provider can also recommend exercises that will suit you better.
  • Don't stop at exercise. Keep on your renal diet and track your limits regularly.

That being said, here are 4 easy-to-do outdoors exercises for CKD patients:


This is a amazing exercise to work your glutes and hamstrings. Lunges have different variations, but let's stick to the basic drop-knee style.

  1. Stand with your feet about three feet apart with your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Bend your knees and lower back toward the ground, making sure your heel is flat to the ground and your knees are directly over the center of your feet.
  3. Keep your upper body straight as you push through the front heel and return to the starting position. Don't lock your knees.
  4. Just repeat in a flowing motion.
woman doing forward lunge



Squats have tremendous power, if done properly. They're great for developing your hips, buttocks, and thighs.

  1. Stand evenly with your feet apart. Keep your back straight and your stomach in. Your knees should be just behind your toes.
  2. Squat to the height of a chair and squeeze your butt as you stand. Repeat.
  3. For more vigorous exercise, hold weights in your hands as you squat.
man doing a squat


Also, as you do repetitions, you'll feel your legs getting tired. This is a good thing, as it means that the exercise is working.


You can use a park bench, stairs, or any elevated platform as your equipment for this exercise. All you have to do is step up and down, being sure to hold your head up and your back straight.

  1. Stand behind the platform (weights in hand for more power).
  2. Put your right foot on the bench, transferring your weight to the heel as you come into the step. Use your right leg only, using your left leg for balance.
  3. Slowly step back. Repeat this at least 10 times with your right leg before switching to the left.
woman doing step up


Uphill Sprints/Jogs

For this outdoor exercise, all you have to do is find a hillside, and run or jog up it. Walk down and repeat.

This instruction might sound so simple, but this exercise is not easy. Take as much time as you can going uphill, and don't overexert yourself.

women jogging

These exercises for CKD patients are not hard to follow, but they do require discipline and commitment if you really want to succeed in your health and fitness program. 

Good health is always within reach of anyone, but it goes without saying that  you have to work for it. But keep at it and along with your kidney-friendly diet, you'll be sure to reap the most important benefit - a longer and happier life.