A comparison of aerobic exercise and resistance training in patients with and without chronic kidney disease

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2008 Jan;15(1):83-96. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2007.10.004.


The morbidity and mortality associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are primarily caused by atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, which may be in part caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. Aerobic exercise and resistance training have been proposed as measures to combat obesity, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and progression of CKD. In non-CKD patients, aerobic exercise reduces inflammation, increases insulin sensitivity, decreases microalbuminuria, facilitates weight loss, decreases leptins, and protects against oxidative injury. In nondialysis CKD, aerobic exercise decreases microalbuminuria, protects from oxidative stress, and may increase the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Aerobic exercise in hemodialysis patients has been reported to enhance insulin sensitivity, improve lipid profile, increase hemoglobin, increase strength, decrease blood pressure, and improve quality of life. Resistance training, in the general population, decreases C-reactive protein, increases insulin sensitivity, decreases body fat content, increases insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and decreases microalbuminuria. In the nondialysis CKD population, resistance training has been reported to reduce inflammation, increase serum albumin, maintain body weight, increase muscle strength, increase IGF-1, and increase GFR. Resistance training in hemodialysis increases muscle strength, increases physical functionality, and improves IGF-1 status. Combined aerobic exercise and resistance training during dialysis improves muscle strength, work output, cardiac fitness, and possibly dialysis adequacy. There is a need for more investigation on the role of exercise in CKD. If the benefits of aerobic exercise and strength training in non-CKD populations can be shown to apply to CKD patients as well, renal rehabilitation will begin to play an important role in the approach to the treatment, prevention, and slowed progression of CKD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Progression
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Muscle Strength
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Weight Lifting*