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Medicina dello Sport 2000 June;53(2):137-44


language: Italian

Usefulness of physical training in the treatment of asthmatic subjects

Balestreri F., Bertaiola M., Baratieri S., Calza Contin M., Ferrari M.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Chirurgiche, Servizio di Fisiopatologia Respiratoria, Università degli Studi, Verona


The aim of this review was to evaluate the utility and the effect of the physical activity on asthmatic disease through a critical revision of the literature. We wanted moreover to check the efficacy of different physical warm-up protocols in reducing the exercise-induced bronchospasm. Through a bibliographical research conducted by Medline from 1960 till July 1998 (key words: asthma, exercise-induced asthma, exercise-therapy, physical conditioning), 47 studies have been selected. To assess the effect of physical warm-up on exercise-induced bronchospasm, a research with similar procedures has been carried out from 1978 to July 1998 (key words: exercise, exercise-induced asthma, warm-up). The quality criteria used to select the studies have been the following: single-blind, presence of control group, randomization of the treatment, instrumental evaluation of the results and therapy monitoring. Almost all the studies considered (7 out of 8) confirmed the utility of physical training in the asthmatic disease. Even though it is not possible to establish which is the most useful kind of exercise, we can nevertheless conclude that: the training must be performed at least twice a week; the aerobic activity, with an intensity equal to 60-80% of the highest theoretical heart frequency, appears to be the best physical activity; also the exercises suitable to improve the respiratory musculature strength exert a positive effect on the asthmatic patient’s health.
With regard to the efficacy of physical warm-up in reducing the exercise-induced bronchospasm, it seems that only an intense, repeated and short-term physical exercise can produce conforting results.

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