Independent of the course of kidney disease, physical fitness decreases continuously with the progression of CRF. The reduced physical fitness of patients with CKD is characterized by the following: reduced flexibility, coordination disturbances, decreased muscular strength and endurance. Often CKD patients suffer from depression and loss of self-confidence. Thus, the goals are to improve the principal components of motor fitness, conditioning gymnastics, different forms of endurance training, breathing and relaxation exercises, and body experience. The training starts with an initial phase followed by a build-up phase and a maintenance phase. Each phase consists of a warm-up, the main phase, and a cool-down phase. The Borg's RPE-scale is recommended for controlling the training. Because of their specific treatment modalities, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients as well as transplantation patients should seek individual prescriptions. Large experience exists in out-center training programs in dialysis and transplantation patients. The importance of physical fitness to the somatic and psychosocial well-being is well-documented. It is therefore recommended to exercise continuously on an individual basis in order to counteract the reduction of physical fitness due to CKD. Each patient should feel encouraged to participate in an exercise training adjusted to the individual capacity. © 2004 Dustri-Verlag Dr. K. Feistle.
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