Patient Mohammad Adrees

Getting on his bike helps Mohammad shape up for kidney transplant

Getting on his bike for a research study helped kidney patient Mohammad Adrees shape up for a life-saving transplant.

Mohammad had been receiving dialysis since April 2016 after suffering kidney failure, with three four-hour visits each week to Bolton Haemodialysis Unit.

As he waited for a kidney to become available for transplant, he agreed to take part in a research study where he used a special stationary exercise bike to improve his fitness while he was in bed having treatment. This was part of a national trial assessing whether exercise during dialysis could improve the health of kidney patients.


He says he really felt the benefit and is convinced it helped him to be in the best possible shape for his transplant at Manchester Royal Infirmary – and to recover quickly afterwards.

Within a few months of starting the exercise programme, he’d built up to the equivalent of an eight-mile bike ride on every visit to the unit, a satellite unit of Salford Royal.


Mohammad, aged 42, said: “I felt I was getting stronger and fitter and I think that was better for my health generally, as well as making sure I was in good shape when I had the transplant. I was walking downstairs on the second day after my transplant and although it will take a while to recover fully, everyone says I look a different man.

“Since my kidneys failed, I’d been worried about going out on my own to do exercise in case I became ill but on the trial I was under supervision all the time so I felt reassured.

“I feel I benefitted from the research and it’s also good to know that all the information from the study could help others.”


Salford Royal Physiotherapy Assistant Garry Trew supervised the patient exercise sessions at both Bolton and Salford dialysis units. He said: “Often people who have serious conditions such as kidney disease are told what they can’t do because of it – we’re looking at what they can do. We get to know patients and we’re here to encourage them and support them to exercise the right way in a safe environment.

“People are finding they can do things they never imagined and there have been other spin-offs – one patient has started swimming three times a week, others have joined a gym or made changes to their diet.”

The local lead for the study, Professor Phil Kalra said: “A four-hour haemodialysis session, during which patients might normally be reading, watching films or sleeping, provides an excellent opportunity for a patient to be involved in something that can additionally benefit their health. We are looking forward to seeing the final results of this multi-centre ‘PEDAL’ study which should be available towards the end of 2019.”

UPDATE: This trial found that an intradialytic cycling programme did not improve health-related quality of life compared with usual care. You can read the research paper on Randomized Trial—PrEscription of intraDialytic exercise to improve quAlity of Life in Patients Receiving Hemodialysis on Kidney International Reports.

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