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Dec 14, 2013 08:22 AM EST

Light Exercise and Healthy Diet Prevents Kidney Stones, Study

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Engaging in any form of light physical activity like lifting a baby can ward off kidney stones, according to University of Washington School of Medicine study.

Kidney stones, also known renal lithiasis, are more prevalent in women. Previous studies have linked kidney stones to obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Being obese doubles the risk of developing kidney stones.

For this study, the research team led by Mathew Sorensen, MD from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine and the Puget Sound Department of Veterans Affairs analysed the data of 84,225 postmenopausal women. The researchers found that women, who exercised, were 31 percent less likely to develop kidney stones.

"Even small amounts of exercise may decrease the risk of kidney stones-it does not need to be marathons, as the intensity of the exercise does not seem to matter," said Sorensen, Telegraph reports.

The researchers also found that calorie intake of more than 2,200 calories per day could increase kidney stones risk by up to 42 percent.

"Being aware of calorie intake, watching their weight, and making efforts to exercise are important factors for improving the health of our patients overall, and as it relates to kidney stones," said Sorensen.

Scientists advise people to adopt an active lifestyle with a good exercise regime and a healthy diet. Sorensen suggested individuals to participate in some form of physical exercise every week like three hours of average walking at 2-3 mph, one hour of moderate jogging at 6 mph or four hours of gardening to keep kidney stones at bay.

Although the study focused on women, it is also highly relevant to men.

"Counselling for patients with stones often centers almost exclusively on diet, stressing increased fluid intake, normal dietary calcium, lower sodium, moderate protein, and reduced dietary oxalate, Dr John Lieske of Mayo Clinic said:

"The results of Sorensen et al. suggest that a recommendation for moderate physical activity might reasonably be added to the mix."

The finding has been published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

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