Weight lifting is often the topic of conflicting information regarding its effect on health, on the one hand it can be a great way to enhance your strength, endurance and build up fat-burning muscles. On the other, it’s been blamed with an alleged connection to everything from hernias to bursitis.
According to a new study, however, chronic kidney disease and weightlifting may have a positive connection. The latest research seemed to indicate routine weightlifting may have the potential to help people diagnosed with kidney disease.
A study recently conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester that included Professor Alice Smith, Dr Tom Wilkinson and Dr Emma Watson found that patients suffering with non-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) who engaged in both combined and aerobic exercises at least 3 times per week over a period of 3 months saw a drastic increase in cardio-respiratory fitness, leg muscle size, and strength.
Even though patients showed many positive changes after just getting involved with aerobic activities, such as rowing, cycling and treadmill walking and the extra benefit of resistance exercise like lifting weights showed a significant increase in muscle mass (increasing from 5% to 9%) and strength (increasing from 17% to 49%) compared to aerobic alone.
The combination of strength and aerobic exercises are very important to a CKD patient in maintaining the strength and health of muscles.
For both logistical and time reasons, the option to combine strength and aerobic modes of exercise in a single workout session is likely to give the most desirable results.
A controlled study took place using outpatients from a variety of clinics at Leicester’s Hospitals. Over a period of 6 weeks, the researchers looked out for signs of natural changes in muscles, fitness and strength. This period of observation indicated no changes were noticed, so any future changes would directly result from the planned exercise.
Over the next 12 weeks, the patients were asked to perform supervised aerobic exercises (cycling, rowing, or treadmill) for a period of 30 minutes, or a dual training program (aerobic plus leg press and leg extension exercise) which took place 3 times per week. Once complete, the researchers carefully analyzed the data to learn about potential health benefits.
The patients varied in age with one volunteer a 80 year old woman who was able to completed the range of exercises and was absolutely delighted. The staff gave complete support and guidance to ensure that those involved got the maximum amount of benefit possible.
A further patient, a 62 year old man also felt they benefited from the exercise program with improved strength in muscles that were rarely used before.
Here are some of the best ways to incorporate weights into your fitness routine:
- Warm Up First. Try to do your cardio before you do your weights, so you have greater amounts of energy for weightlifting. Start with a brief, 15-minute treadmill walk or something similar.
- End On A High Note. Try for 10-15 minutes of weightlifting toward the end of your aerobic exercise.. But be sure to alternate different areas of your body to keep any one group of muscles from getting sore.
- Rotate between strength training with more reps of lighter weights and a few reps of heavier weights. This will help to gradually ease your muscles into being able to lift heavier weights.
- Don’t have weights? Don’t use that as an excuse! You can use anything, from textbooks to soup cans to make sure you’re working those muscles!
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