Over 100 000 solid organ transplants are performed worldwide each year and this has a significant impact on physical function and quality of life. However, the capacity for exercise in solid-organ recipients is reduced. Regular physical activity improves most of the indices of fitness in these patients but, with few exceptions, they do not reach the values seen in healthy controls. The reason for the 40–60% reduction in maximal exercise capacity is not clear; the disease process, need for life long immunosuppression and sedentary lifestyle all contribute. The interaction between exercise and immunosuppressing medication merits research as does the specifics of the exercise prescription for these patients. This paper reviews important features of this rapidly expanding group of patients and suggests clinical considerations in the application of exercise in this population.
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