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Kidney Diseases Are “Silent” Killers, And Can Develop At All Ages

Kidney Diseases Are “Silent” Killers, And Can Develop At All Ages

Compared with other illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, kidney disease receives relatively little attention in the media and society at large. This is unfortunate because kidney diseases often come with few early warning signs. Furthermore, they can develop at any age.

On an average, one in ten people suffers from kidney damage at some point in their lives. This means that we all need to take kidney health more seriously and take as many preventative measures as possible.

In this article, you will learn about one of the most commonly-diagnosed kidney diseases, and how you can ensure that your kidneys remain in good shape.

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What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

CKD is a fairly common condition in which one or both kidneys fail to work properly. It often goes unnoticed in the early stages. People are generally only diagnosed with CKD if a blood or urine test happens to be carried out for another purpose. During the later stages of CKD, a patient may feel tired, notice that their feet or hands are swollen, report feeling sick on a regular basis and see blood in their urine.

CKD can be caused by a variety of conditions that increase the kidneys’ workload. For example, diabetes and high blood pressure both demand that the kidneys work harder and this can result in long-term damage. Eventually, a person’s kidneys may show signs of greatly impaired functioning or may even stop working altogether. CKD is also linked to other negative health outcomes such as stroke and heart attack.

How to Treat Chronic Kidney Disease?

There is currently no cure for CKD. Instead, the emphasis is placed upon symptom management and retaining a good quality of life for the patient wherever possible.

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In the cases of severely reduced kidney functioning, it may be necessary for a patient to receive regular kidney dialysis (in which a patient’s blood needs to be diverted through a machine to be cleaned because the kidneys can no longer perform this vital function) or even a kidney transplant. These measures can be inconvenient and financially costly.

However, many patients can gain control over their CKD and provided they take care of themselves can expect to lead relatively normal lives.

How can Kidney Disease be Prevented?

Fortunately, you can lower your risk of CKD and other kidney diseases by striving to live a healthy lifestyle. Since kidney disease is often the result of the kidneys being forced to work harder due to the presence of another chronic disease, it is a good idea to focus on the commonly recommended lifestyle strategies that keep the body in a state of overall health.

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1. A Healthy Diet:

Diet plays a key role in the prevention of kidney problems and other major illnesses. Base your diet around vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains. Take care not to exceed recommended government levels of sugar, saturated fat and salt. DaVita, an organization for kidney patients and those keen to learn more about kidney health, has some great free recipes you can check out on their site.

2. Reduced Alcohol Intake:

Limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks per day, and try to abstain entirely for one or two days each week.

3. Quit Smoking:

Do not smoke. If you are finding it hard to cut down on cigarettes, contact your doctor for advice on how to quit smoking.

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4. Regular Health Checkups:

It is also important to get any other health conditions under control. For example, if you have high blood pressure it is vital that you attend regular check-ups as recommended by your healthcare provider and remain diligent in taking any medication you are prescribed.

5. Regular Moderate Exercise:

Finally, exercise has been shown to prevent or improve many chronic conditions. You should aim for at least 150 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every week. Find a sport or workout style you enjoy, as this means you are more likely to stick to your new schedule.

Not only will you reduce your risk of CKD, but you will also give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding other long-term conditions that commonly afflict people in the western world such as diabetes and heart disease.

Featured photo credit: flanderstoday.eu via flanderstoday.eu

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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