If you have ever passed a kidney stone, this research out of the University of Washington surely grabbed your attention. In this study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Dr. Sorenson noted a strong correlation between exercise habits and the reduction of kidney stone formation after evaluating 84,225 women over 20 years.

After adjusting for multiple factors, it was found that even the slightest bit of exercise each week reduced the chance of getting a kidney stone by 31%. And when I say “slightest bit,” I really mean it. In fact, women who just walked for about 3 hours per week, performed light gardening for four hours per week or did one total hour of jogging noted benefit.

In addition to exercise, the researchers noted that being of a normal weight and consuming less than 2200 calories per day resulted in a 42% decreased risk in kidney stone development. 

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

So, the combination of light exercise and controlling calories and portions may serious reduce your risk of developing the much dreaded kidney stone…

The Take Home Point

This study has provided fairly convincing evidence that controlling weight, keeping caloric intake to less than 2200 calories/day and exercising a little each week can reduce kidney stone formation. Keep in mind that the study was limited to postmenopausal women, so it may not apply to others (but I strongly suspect that it does).

To further reduce kidney stone formation, it is also recommended that you must also increase your fluid intake (probably the most important), lower sodium intake, keep normal calcium intake, consume a moderate protein diet and reduce oxalate intake when possible.