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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Pneumologica 2011 June;50(2):111-28

language: English

Exercise strategies for chronic respiratory diseases

Kortianou E. A. 1,2, Nasis I. G. 1, Vogiatzis I. 1

1 Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
2 Physiotherapy Department, Technological Educational Institute of Lamia, Lamia, Greece


Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) are characterized by exertional dyspnea, exercise limitation and reduced quality of life. The role of exercise training is essential for improving symptoms, physical function and health related quality of life. The majority of the research provides evidence that supports the effectiveness of exercise mainly in patients with respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and cystic fibrosis (CF). However, growing evidence supports the use of exercise training as an effective and safe intervention for patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (iPAH). Despite the lack of clinical guidelines for exercise training in iPAH, several recent studies have shown effectiveness of exercise in amelioration of dyspnea and improvement in functional capacity in patients with iPAH. In the others CRD the overall process for generating clinical guidelines has been addressed in numerous recently published documents which suggest an approach to management. The aim of this review was to establish the effects of different exercise training strategies on exercise capacity, dyspnoea sensations and quality of life in the following chronic respiratory diseases: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung diseases and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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