Sustained physical activity extends healthy life years while a lower activity due to sarcopenia can reduce them. Sarcopenia is defined as a decrease in skeletal muscle mass and strength due not only to aging, but also from a variety of debilitating chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart failure. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), who tend to be cachexic and in frail health, may develop uremic sarcopenia or uremic myopathy due to an imbalance between muscle protein synthesis and catabolism. Here, we review clinical evidence indicating reduced physical activity as renal function deteriorates and explore evidence-supported therapeutic options focusing on nutrition and physical training. In addition, although sarcopenia is a clinical concept and difficult to recapitulate in basic research, several in vivo approaches have been attempted, such as rodent subtotal nephrectomy representing both renal dysfunction and muscle weakness. This review highlights molecular mechanisms and promising interventions for uremic sarcopenia that were revealed through basic research. Extensive study is still needed to cast light on the many aspects of locomotive organ impairments in CKD and explore the ways that diet and exercise therapies can improve both outcomes and quality of life at every level.
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