“Exercise as medicine” in chronic kidney disease

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Exercise and physical activity are increasingly becoming key tools in the treatment and prevention of several medical conditions including arthritis and diabetes; this notion has been termed “exercise as medicine”. Exercise has favorable effects on reducing cardiovascular risk, inflammation, cachexia, and hypertension, in addition to increasing physical functioning, strength, and cardio-respiratory capacity. Chronic kidney disease, a condition that affects around 10% of the population, is often overlooked as a target for exercise-based therapy. Despite the vast range of severity in kidney disease (e.g., pre-dialysis, dialysis, transplant), exercise has a potential role in all patients suffering from the condition. In this review, we summarise the important role exercise may have in the clinical management of kidney disease and how this form of ‘medicine’ should be best administered and ‘prescribed’.

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