How does exercise help to reduce the risk of or manage Chronic Kidney Disease?

Do you or someone you know have Chronic Kidney Disease? Do they understand how exercise can help to manage symptoms or reduce the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Today, the teams at Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwickPymbleBalmainNeutral Bay, Coburg – Melbourne, and Barrie, Ontario – Canada explain how different types of exercise can help to reduce the risk of or help to manage the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease to help improve your quality of life.

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Chronic Kidney Disease refers to all conditions of the kidneys lasting greater than 3 months. This effects the filtration and removal of waste products from the blood via the kidneys.

Am I at risk?

Many of the risks associated with CKD are lifestyle related, these include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Type 2 Diabetes


Do you tick any of the above boxes?

A combination of any of these factors can significantly increase the risk of developing CKD. If there is worsening kidney function other complications can develop such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and kidney failure.

If you have any of these risk factors it is recommended to complete a kidney health check up every 1-2 years.

In 2017-2018 there were 1.8 million hospitalisations associated with CKD!

There is no cure for CKD and it is often a silent condition. There are typically no signs or symptoms of CKD until significant kidney failure has occurred.

What can I do to prevent CKD?

Fortunately, there are steps we can do to significantly reduce the risk of developing CKD, these include managing the above-mentioned risk factors. It has been shown that exercise is an extremely effective treatment in significantly reducing the prevalence of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes alongside its powerful influence in weight loss. A combination of both aerobic (walking, swimming, cycling) and anaerobic (strength and resistance training) have both been shown as effective modalities in managing these risk factors, therefore significantly reducing your chances of CKD!

What can be done if I am already diagnosed with CKD?

People who have CKD will experience some of the following symptoms which may become more significant depending on the stage of CKD. These include:

  • Reduced aerobic capacity (loss of fitness)
  • Reduced heart function
  • Strength loss
  • Decrease quality of life
  • Increased morbidity i.e., the incidence of chronic health conditions

Thankfully, evidence has shown us that a combination of aerobic and resistance training can help with the following in patients with CKD:

  • Improve aerobic capacity
  • Improve heart function
  • Improve strength
  • Improve quality of life
  • Improve mood

Exercise can even be completed whilst on dialysis.

There is no better time to prevent or halt the progression of CKD than now!

If you or someone you know has CKD and needs help to manage their symptoms or needs help to reduce their risk of CKD and make changes in their lives, give Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwickPymbleBalmainNeutral Bay, Coburg – Melbourne, and Barrie, Ontario – Canada a call on 1300 964 002 today!


Written by Stefan Velevski



Smart, N., Williams, A., Levinger, I., Selig, S., Howden, E., Coombes, J., & Fassett, R. (2013). Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) position statement on exercise and chronic kidney disease. Journal Of Science And Medicine In Sport16(5), 406-411. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.01.005

Barcellos, F., Santos, I., Umpierre, D., Bohlke, M., & Hallal, P. (2015). Effects of exercise in the whole spectrum of chronic kidney disease: a systematic review. Clinical Kidney Journal8(6), 753-765. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfv099

Howden, E., Fassett, R., Isbel, N., & Coombes, J. (2012). Exercise Training in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients. Sports Medicine42(6), 473-488. doi: 10.2165/11630800-000000000-00000

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