Rosemary Cadden reports from the CRANAplus conference in Melbourne: 

Far from assuming that people on dialysis are too sick to do physical exercise, Associate Professor Paul Bennett, from Monash Health and Deakin University, says Zumba and laughter yoga should be high on the health regime for people with chronic kidney disease.

“It won’t cure kidney disease, but it will definitely improve quality of life,” he told delegates.

He pointed out that some dialysis units overseas actually have gyms attached and cited examples of physical exercise programmes in Singapore, the UK, Sweden and the USA.

His presentation involved showing pictures of kidney disease patients in Australia working out with equipment such as rowing machines and fitness bikes while on dialysis; Zumba instructors holding classes with patients getting into the action; and laughter yoga therapists raising much more than a smile from patients and nurses in the wards.

After attending a laughter workshop, Paul is a total convert to the physical and emotional health value of laughter yoga.

Paul’s vision for the future of treatment for people with chronic kidney disease involves exercise physiologists, health assistants and nurse exercise champions.

Zumba instructors, laughter yoga instructors and exercise physiologists are already involved in programmes for kidney patients and he would like to see increased use of their expertise.

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Meanwhile, in other Twitter highlights from #CRANAplus14 






• Freelance journalist Rosemary Cadden and editor of the quarterly CRANAplus magazine is covering the conference for Croakey readers. Follow Croakey’s coverage of the CRANAplus conference here.

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