It’s a New Year, so we wanted to start this year by giving you a guide to how you can make 2024 a year of kidney health! With the fresh start of a new year comes the opportunity to set new goals and resolutions to live healthier. Patients with chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure need to take extra steps to manage and improve their condition, which means that living a healthy lifestyle may include a few additional steps than the average person. To help take the guesswork out of what you can do to make this upcoming year a year of kidney health, take a look as we make specific recommendations to manage and improve your CKD and high blood pressure.
January: Plan Your Year of Kidney Health
Setting New Year’s Resolutions can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just beginning a health journey. Starting slow and maintaining consistency will be key to avoiding burnout and staying focused on your goals throughout the year. While it’s always a good idea to kick off your new health habits as early as possible, use the month of January to plan and set yourself up for success. Establish care with a nephrologist you trust, and make sure you have the doctor’s approval before starting a diet or exercise program.
February: Kick Bad Habits
One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to quit smoking, and for good reason. While diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of CKD, studies have found that people with either risk factor who also smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
March: Continue Your Education
March is National Kidney Month, which means there is an influx of resources and other awareness events that can provide valuable information and education. Use this month to learn more about CKD and high blood pressure, and use this as motivation to continue to work towards the goals you set in January.
April: Stay on Top of Your Diet
While healthy eating habits are a fundamental part of wellness, the fresh produce that is harvested in the springtime makes it even easier to eat well. Take advantage of farmer’s markets and other local offerings that can be accessed more easily this month.
May: Get Active
In the same way that fruit and veggies are more plentiful in the springtime, the warmer temperatures can help breathe new life into your wellness routine. Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air by exercising outside. Cycling, walking, and even gardening are great ways to get active.
June: Check in With Your Doctor
June is the halfway point through the year, so it’s a good time to schedule a checkup with your doctor! We know life can get busy, but staying on top of your health can help prevent more significant medical problems in the future. Staying organized and on top of all your medical appointments is essential in optimizing your year of kidney health.
July: Stay Cool
Hot weather can lead to complications for patients with CKD or high blood pressure. Make sure you’re not overheating by avoiding peak heat hours, and stay hydrated!
August: Take a Dip in the Pool
As we previously mentioned, hot temperatures can pose some challenges when it comes to physical activity. A great way to stay active while staying cool is to engage in water activities such as swimming or water aerobics. One thing for patients with CKD to keep in mind is that your access is protected if you are on dialysis check. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to avoid non-chlorinated bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, and rivers because they can hold more bacteria that are dangerous if they enter the body.
September: Enjoy Seasonal Activities
As autumn approaches, keep your activity level up by enjoying seasonal opportunities like apple or pumpkin picking. It’s a lot easier to be outside as the temperatures cool off, so make the most of it by staying active.
October: Weigh In
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to our overall health and wellness, in addition to kidney health. You can optimize your year of kidney health by maintaining your healthy habits and keeping an eye on your weight.
November: Stay Healthy
The cooler months bring a variety of viruses and illnesses. Boost your immunity and stay healthy by getting your nutrients, getting at least eight hours of sleep, and staying hydrated. Avoid getting sick by washing your hands and ensuring that you are up to date on any and all vaccinations, such as COVID-19 and flu shots.
December: Avoid Alcohol
Finish out your year of kidney health strong by avoiding alcohol this holiday season. We know it can be difficult to abstain from alcoholic beverages at Christmas parties and other celebrations, but make sure you enjoy them in moderation or abstain from drinking entirely. Keeping a clear head will help set you up for another healthy year!
At Durham Nephrology, we provide comprehensive care to patients in Durham and Oxford, NC, with kidney disease and high blood pressure. Our team is experienced in providing treatment in a variety of kidney disease treatments and dialysis modalities. If you have questions about how you can optimize your health this year, contact Durham Nephrology online or call 1 (866) 434-2597 to make an appointment.