Are dialysis patients too frail to exercise?

Connie J Wang, Kirsten L Johansen
Seminars in Dialysis 2019, 32 (4): 291-296
Clinical manifestations of functional and morphological muscular abnormalities in dialysis patients are muscle weakness and low exercise capacity, possibly leading to a sedentary life style with low physical activity. Low cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle atrophy and weakness contribute to the development of frailty and affect patients' ability to physically navigate their environment. While many dialysis patients may appear too frail to participate in moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise training, those who can complete such programs appear to derive substantial benefit. Less vigorous aerobic exercise, resistance training, and alternative forms of exercise can also be beneficial. Most patients on dialysis are not too frail to perform resistance exercise of adequate intensity to achieve increases in muscle size and strength, therefore, frailty should not be considered a contraindication to exercise.

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