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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2000 December;40(4):277-83

Copyright © 2001 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Exercise training in asthma

Satta A.

Department of Pneumology, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Care and Research Institute, Tradate, Varese, Italy


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Asthma is a ­chronic dis­ease ­that is ­often lim­iting the exer­cise ­capacity. Reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams are rec­om­mended and ­widely ­applied in asth­matic ­patients, and exer­cise pre­scrip­tion is a key­stone of ­these pro­grams. The impair­ment of exer­cise per­for­mance in asth­matics, the ­role of exer­cise ­training in ­such ­patients, the mech­a­nisms of its ben­e­fi­cial ­effects and the sug­gested pro­grams are dis­cussed in a ­review, accord­ingly to the cur­rent evi­dence and avail­able ­data in sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture. Exer­cise per­for­mance is ­impaired in ­most asth­matics. ­There is no con­clu­sive evi­dence ­that ­asthma may ­involve a ven­til­a­tory lim­i­ta­tion to exer­cise. The ­lesser fit­ness in asth­matics ­seems ­mainly due to inac­tivity and sed­en­tary life­style. Exer­cise ­induced ­asthma (EIA) is a sig­nif­i­cant ­problem, and the ­best ­approach to min­i­mise its ­effects on exer­cise ­capacity is pre­ven­tion. Exer­cise ­training has ­been ­proved to ­have ­health-­related ben­e­fits and to ­improve the ­quality of ­life. ­There is sub­stan­tial evi­dence ­that exer­cise ­training ­increases exer­cise per­for­mance and fit­ness in asth­matics. It is ­still ­unclear ­whether phys­ical ­training ­improves pul­mo­nary func­tion and bron­chial respon­sive­ness. ­Since ­asthma ­ranges ­widely, exer­cise pre­scrip­tion ­varies for ­each ­patient. The ­proper selec­tion of the ­patients and the ­choice of exer­cise pro­grams are the ­steps ­required. Accord­ingly ­with the ­severity of the dis­ease, exer­cise strat­e­gies may ­range ­from ­sports activ­ities to, ­when the dis­ease is ­severe, inpa­tient hos­pital pro­grams ­that ­overlap ­with ­COPD reha­bil­i­ta­tion. Fur­ther ­research to ­clarify ­some ­aspects (­effects on pul­mo­nary func­tion and EIA, out­comes, ­cost-ben­efit rela­tion­ship) is nec­es­sary.

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