High-intensity interval training benefits asthma patients


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A recent study showed that continuous pregnancy exercise and high-intensity interval training improved aerobic fitness in adults with moderate to severe asthma, although the latter method provided more benefits.

“Patients and doctors often ask what type of exercise people with asthma benefit the most,” Celso RF Carvalho, PT, FE, PhD, Associate professor at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, Helio told.




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Celso RF Carvalho

“At the moment, almost all studies have evaluated the effect of aerobic training. On the other hand, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a new exercise training method, and many exercise training clinics have motivated patients to do it,” Carvalho said.

Posted in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: in practiceThe study included 55 hospitalized patients with clinically stable moderate or severe asthma ranging in age from 20 to 59 years.

Each patient underwent assessment of clinical asthma control, health-related quality of life, psychosocial illness, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, physical activity level, airway inflammation and systemic inflammation.

Next, the researchers assigned 27 patients to continuous pregnancy exercise (CLE) and 28 patients to HIIT. Training included 40-minute lap tachymeter sessions twice per week for 12 weeks.

Sessions included 5 minutes of warm-up, 30 minutes of exercise, and 5 minutes of cool down. Exercise intensity increased every 2 weeks based on each participant’s cardiopulmonary exercise test results.

Using the cardiopulmonary exercise test, the researchers found that both exercise interventions resulted in similar increases in participants’ peak oxygen uptake and workload, with no differences between groups in levels of shortness of breath or lower extremity fatigue after the interventions.

“We did not expect HIIT to achieve benefits similar to those observed through aerobic exercise,” Carvalho said.

After the intervention, the HIIT group achieved an increase of more than 500 steps per day—the level determined to show minimal clinically significant difference—in the total level of physical activity during weekdays compared to the CLE group (s <.05), which also reflects an increase compared to the baseline (s <.003), although this improvement was not observed during follow-up.

Compared to the CLE group, the HIIT group experienced a reduction in dyspnea levels during the physical exam threshold (minutes 2 to 4) after the interventions (s <.05). The groups did not experience any differences in lower limb fatigue.

After the first two weeks, both groups maintained levels of shortness of breath and fatigue between “kinda difficult” and “difficult.” Similar levels of shortness of breath, lower extremity fatigue, and heart rates during exercise sessions were also observed between the two groups, although the HIIT group expended more energy than the CLE group between sessions 10 and 24 (s <.05).

Also, after the intervention, the investigators found no clinically significant differences in the results of the Asthma Control Questionnaire 6 (ACQ-6) between the HIIT and CLE groups (44% vs 35%), although the HIIT group showed minimal clinical significance. . The difference in ACQ-6 scores compared to baseline. Similarly, the researchers did not observe any differences during follow-up in clinical control or lung function in both groups.

However, similar proportions of the HITT group and the CLE group experienced a clinical reduction in anxiety (63% vs 53%) and a clinical decrease in depression levels (74% vs 71%), although only the HIIT group experienced an improvement in these symptoms by follow-up period.

In addition, there were no changes in inflammatory asthma biomarkers, including IL-1B, IL-17, TNF-alpha, IL-2, IL-10, MCP-1, and RANTES (subject to activation, cells expressed normal T cells and their secretion) as well as cortisol.

Overall, the researchers concluded that both effectively improve aerobic fitness among adults with moderate to severe asthma, with HIIT providing better results in reducing levels of shortness of breath and extremity fatigue while increasing the level of physical activity.

“These findings allow for the recommendation of frequent, high-intensity treatment for people with asthma,” Carvalho said.
“They also suggest that people with asthma can do other types of exercise.”

In addition, Carvalho added, the results of this study open two new fronts.

First, the real-world study should assess the extent to which asthmatic patients adhere to the CLE and HIIT exercise programs.

“The importance is in evaluating which exercises patients prefer,” he said.

Second, he said, studies should evaluate which type of exercise reduces the incidence of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, a condition in which patients develop shortness of breath during exercise.

for more information:

Celso RF Carvalho, PT, FE, PhDAnd the She can be reached at cscarval@usp.br.

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