It is estimated that one in ten New Zealanders suffer from kidney disease.
People with more advanced disease will face the prospect of either a kidney transplant or dialysis treatment (the filtering of the blood by a machine, often for hours several times each week).
“For anyone with chronic kidney disease it’s really important to look after yourself,” says John Loof, the Society’s Chief Executive.
“That means doing the best you can with your dialysis, your nutrition, taking your medication – and keeping as fit and mobile and independent as you can.”
“Some people can join a gym and follow a regular workout program” says Tracey. “But for others this can be too much.”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t improve your fitness and the way you feel about yourself. The trick is to find a way to exercise that is right for you.
“A lot of the things we start with in the Wellness Programme are really basic - like hand exercises, foot exercises and postural exercises.”
The majority of the people in the programme are in the more advanced stages of the disease, with less than 25 per cent kidney function.
“For a lot of the people we see it can be really tough. They have gone from being independent, working and providing for their family or being physically active.
“All of a sudden that changes. That has a huge emotional toll and takes away a lot of their mana.”
“If you can feel your achieving something you can take next step to achieving something bigger, and then something bigger again.”
One participant in the Wellness program says “I was tired of going to my GP and being told the same things that I needed to do, like lose weight and eat less of this and that.”
“The problem was all they could do was point out the obvious things, with no practical solution or program to achieve it.
“Tracey's advice on suitable exercises and videos were perfectly suited for me as they were low impact and didn't require the flexibility of a ballerina.”