Which activity modifications are used in the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Updated: Jul 21, 2021
  • Author: Pradeep Arora, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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The KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) clinical practice guideline recommends that patients with CKD undertake regular exercise, as compatible with cardiovascular health, ideally for at least 30 minutes 5 times per week. [3]  However, studies have found that patients with CKD participate in physical activity only about 9 days per month, and 45% of patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) reported not exercising at all. [96]

As regards the type of physical exercise, for patients on dialysis the strongest evidence is for aerobic exercise, which can improve physical fitness, muscular strength and quality of life in this cohort. Resistance training has shown benefit for patients with earlier stages of CKD. [97] Given the limited data available, however, a reasonable approach would be to refer CKD patients to an exercise professional who is qualified to prescribe and supervise an exercise program tailored to the patient's individual situation.

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