Why BJJ is the best fitness routine for your kidneys

BJJ Purple Belt

If you are looking at helping to heal, maintain, or manage your kidney health, looking at your overall health is often a wise approach. Most fitness routines, however, come with boredom or dread. Who wants to head to the gym to walk or run on the treadmill? In order to find a sustainable, overall fitness approach to health and wellness for your kidneys, you need to find something that is enjoyable, challenging, and fun, while also providing a multitude of health benefits. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is one of the best activities that provides overall health, enjoyment, and a good challenge. Not only that, but BJJ is accessible to everyone. It’s not uncommon to see people of all ages (young to very old) and sizes (short, tall, big, and small) training together on the mats. This makes it the perfect sport activity to try at any point in your life. 

If you’re wondering how BJJ will help you with your kidney health, check out this list:


BJJ is fun and excellent for stress. 

Stress and high blood pressure take a toll on your kidneys.  BJJ provides an incredible outlet for stress. The sport has a unique way of bringing all of your focus into what you are doing. It’s quite difficult to be thinking about the worries of the day while in a BJJ class. Further, you will find that BJJ is quite fun. It’s playful and child-like and allows you to explore and enjoy yourself. The playfulness of the sport will help with your stress levels, in effect, causing a positive impact on your kidneys. 


BJJ is addictive, not dreadful. 

Your typical gym often comes with a lot of dread. It’s hard to pull yourself up off the couch for a boring work out routine, even if you know that it will help your fitness level and your kidneys. BJJ, for most people, becomes very addictive, very quickly. Once you get going and get over those “new person” nerves, you’ll find yourself looking forward to your BJJ class all day. Finding a fitness routine that you look forward to is key in finding a sustainable workout routine. Dreaded workouts are not sustainable. BJJ is the perfect workout that will make it easy for you to take care of your kidneys and overall health. 


BJJ will make you want to improve your food choices. 

Food is a huge component to kidney health. When your doctor recommends a new diet for your kidneys, it can seem overwhelming at first. As you dive into BJJ, you will find that healthier eating habits will help you with your BJJ game. The desire to improve your game will often drive people to crave positive food changes for their daily diet. As you hone in on your food choices, you will be able to have more energy and feel your best for BJJ. Your kidneys will thank you for the necessary and helpful changes in diet, as well. 


Following your doctor’s orders will be easier. 

Much like with food, medicines and other prescribed changes from your doctor can seem like an overwhelming hill to climb at first. When you realize that taking your prescribed medicines can actually help you feel good while doing BJJ, you will be more apt to remember to take them as prescribed. Because BJJ is so quickly addictive and fun, most people try to keep up on their overall health in order to feel good so they can continue training. As you dive into Jiu Jitsu, you just might find that sticking to your doctor’s orders seems to be a little bit easier to do. 


You will prioritize and get better sleep. 

Kidney health relies on quality sleep, yet many of us neglect this aspect of our health. Jiu Jitsu will help in two ways. One, after a great evening BJJ workout, you’ll be ready for bed and some good sleep. Two, you’ll find that if you don’t get enough sleep, your workouts and performance will suffer. Since BJJ often becomes such an integral part of your life so quickly, you will certainly begin to make better sleep choices. Heading to bed earlier before a day of training will begin to seem like an obvious choice as you continue in the sport. Your kidneys will reap the benefits, as well, as you get adequate sleep to help them function properly.


Jiu Jitsu For Kidney Health

BJJ is easily the best sport activity to not only help your kidneys but also your overall health. It’s fun and addictive, and will help you to begin prioritizing your health in other areas of life, as well. As you dive into BJJ, you’ll also find an incredible community of people who want to see you succeed and look forward to seeing you each day. Their encouragement might just be the thing you need to continue making positive choices for overall health. 

What effect does engaging in combat sports have on kidney function? Reach out to Kidney360 and make an appointment to see a kidney specialist who will help you with your exercise and nutritional choices.  If you are looking to improve your kidney health and overall wellness, be sure to check out your local BJJ gym. 

Uday Khosla, MD Uday M. Khosla, MD, is board certified in nephrology and hypertension. Dr. Khosla has served as a Houston kidney consultant since 2004. He currently practices at Kidney360 in Houston, Texas, and is always looking for ways to improve patient care. Dr. Khosla enjoys sharing his knowledge with colleagues and students, and his works have been published in numerous scientific journals and textbooks. Dr. Khosla is available as a kidney consultant in various settings, including in-hospital, outpatient clinics, outpatient dialysis, and home care.

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