Exercise Boosts Life Quality For Kidney Disease Sufferers

Posted by juggernautPT on July 10, 2013

Exercise Boosts Life Quality For Kidney Disease Sufferers
Exercise boosts life quality for kidney disease sufferers

One in three Australians is at increased risk of contracting chronic kidney disease. A new position statement from Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) shows that supervised exercise can help improve quality of life, as well as a range of other health benefits, for CKD patients.

‘CKD is truly a ‘silent killer’, if left undetected and untreated’ said Anita Hobson-Powell, executive officer of ESSA; ‘Complications from the disease can contribute to additional, life-threatening health issues, including in the cardiovascular system. What’s more, living with CKD brings its own challenges, as a patient’s quality of life is often diminished as the disease progresses. For this reason, we’re encouraged to see this new evidence indicating that exercise training can deliver a range of benefits for CKD patients, from improving daily life to preventing more serious co-morbidities’.

According to the research, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, exercise training for CKD patients not only appears safe, but can also deliver critical health benefits, such as cardio-respiratory fitness, heart rate variability, muscle strength, increased energy intake and more – all of which can improve day-to-day living.

‘In particular, aerobic exercise at an intensity of greater than 60 per cent of maximum capacity is recommended, which will improve cardio-respiratory fitness. Resistance training should also be considered, due to its proven beneficial effects on bone density and muscle mass’ said Hobson-Powell.

Associate Professor of Clinical Exercise Physiology at University of New England and an accredited exercise physiology member of ESSA, Neil Smart, was one of the authors of the position statement and said the benefits of exercise were clear; ‘An ever increasing body of evidence suggests that patients with advanced kidney disease will accumulate a wide variety of health benefits from as little as two hours of regular exercise each week. Unfortunately most of the available information is not in people with early disease and often they ignore the importance of early exercise commencement for the specific purpose of delaying dialysis. More research into exercise benefits in early and diabetic kidney disease is essential’.

‘As many people with kidney disease eventually succumb to heart disease it is vitally important that these patients exercise to improve their heart function and risk factors like blood glucose and cholesterol. However, the most of obvious benefits of exercise in people with kidney disease are likely to be improved feelings of physical and mental wellbeing.’

The medical director of Kidney Heath Australia, Dr Tim Mathew, said he believes exercise is an integral part of managing kidney disease; ‘Reduction of cardiovascular risk in people with all types of chronic kidney disease is a priority component of their management plan. Regular exercise is an essential part of this approach and in addition exercise programs for people on dialysis have been shown to have multiple health benefits.’

Ms Hobson-Powell recommends consulting with an experienced professional before undertaking any fitness regime; ‘Exercise training programs should be prescribed and delivered by individuals with appropriate qualifications and experience. An accredited exercise physiologist can prescribe a program of exercise tailored to a CPK patient’s individual needs.’

The full text of ESSA’s position statement on CKD is available 


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