Exercise has favourable beneficial effects on health and wellbeing, however the most effective prescription and type of exercise in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is unknown.

Whilst aerobic exercise (e.g. walking) and resistance training (e.g. weights) have separately been shown to be effective in improving cardiovascular fitness, physical function and quality of life in CKD, there is limited research into the combined effects of both. Specifically, it is unknown if these two types of exercise, when performed concurrently, interfere with each other, weakening the effects of the other.

In this study, patients will complete a 12-week supervised exercise programme. One group of patients will undertake aerobic exercise only, whilst the other group will undergo a combined aerobic and resistance exercise programme. We will measure patient’s body composition (muscle and fat), physical function, strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, heart function and quality of life before and after the exercise.


Institutions / organisations and researchers

University of Leicester

Loughborough University

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (sponsor)


  • Recruitment of 54 patients completed.
  • Using data from MRI scans of the patients’ leg muscle, we have developed prediction equations that accurately estimate leg muscle volume from a single 2D cross-sectional ultrasound image.
  • We have identified that muscle quality, indicated by fat found among muscle tissue, may contribute to loss of muscle strength and function in non-dialysis CKD patients.
  • Compared to healthy controls, CKD patients do not have a depletion of MyoD or Myogenin cell expression. These cells are involved in muscle repair and this finding suggests potentially other contributions to muscle wasting in CKD although further research is needed.
  • Preliminary findings have been presented at several national and international conferences.
  • We expect the first full results of this study to be published in 2017.

Find out more about the study.