Weight Lifting During Dialysis Helps Keep Muscles From Wasting Away – Exercise While Sitting in Chair With Dumbbells

Weight Lifting During Dialysis Helps Keep Muscles From Wasting Away – Exercise While Sitting in Chair With Dumbbells


(Best Syndication) Researchers in Australia say that high-intensity weight-lifting can help improve muscle mass and strength in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). They say that these workouts can give “meaningful improvements” in not only muscle mass and strength, but also the quality of life of the patients.

Patients with ESRD commonly experience muscle wasting and this is one of the strongest risk factors for premature death in people with the disease. Amazingly, the doctors had the patients perform the weight lifting while seated in the dialysis chair.

Dr. Bobby Cheema, Ph.D. says "Our findings suggest that patients who regularly perform resistance training exercise during hemodialysis treatment can significantly improve muscle mass, strength, quality of life, and other aspects of health status that are important to people with kidney failure." Cheema is lead author of the University of Sydney, Australia study.

The researchers took 49 patients with ESRD and randomly assigned half to supervised weight lifting exercises while they were seated during regular three-times-weekly dialysis sessions. The patients used both dumbbells and ankle weights targeting major muscle groups.

Dr. Cheema said "Dialysis patients are very inactive in general and commonly burdened by all of the health risks associated with inactivity, particularly type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease." These exercises were designed to be "hard" to "very hard"—rated 15 to 17 on the widely used 20-point Borg perceived-exertion scale.

At the end of 12 weeks, the researchers used computer tomography (CT) scans to compare muscle mass. These scans showed decreased fat deposits inside the muscles, suggesting the formation of new muscle tissue—an adaptation associated with broad-ranging health benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity and a longer lifespan.

"Our findings and the findings of previous research, conducted since 1986, have shown that exercise during dialysis is safe and beneficial," says Dr. Cheema. The researcher is published in the May Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

By Jeffrey Workman
Best Syndication Health Writer



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