Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease and muscle wasting, arising from numerous factors associated with declining renal function and lifestyle factors. Exercise has the ability to impact beneficially on the comorbidities associated with CKD and is accepted as an important intervention in the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of other chronic diseases, however, the role of exercise in CKD is overlooked, with the provision of rehabilitation programmes well behind those of cardiology and respiratory services. Whilst there is now a large evidence base demonstrating the efficacy and safety of exercise training interventions in patients receiving dialysis, and this is now becoming incorporated into clinical guidelines for treatment of dialysis patients, there is a paucity of research evaluating the effectiveness of exercise in patients with CKD who are not on dialysis. Despite this, existing studies indicate that exercise can improve physical functioning and impact positively on the mediators of co-morbid diseases and upstream factors associated with progression of renal disease. Although preliminary evidence appears positive, more research is required to identify the best modes, frequency and intensities of exercise in order to optimise exercise prescription in pre-dialysis CKD patients. This review summarizes what is known about the main effects of exercise in pre-dialysis CKD patients, discusses the potential of exercise in the rehabilitation and treatment of disease and highlights the need for further research.
Keywords: CKD; aerobic; exercise; pre-dialysis; resistance.
© 2014 Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology.