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Europa Medicophysica 2005 March;41(1):49-56

Copyright © 2005 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

A review to develop an effective exercise training for heart failure patients

McConnell T. R. 1, 2

1 Department of Exercise Science Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, USA 2 Cardiac Rehabilitation and Clinical Research Department of Cardiology Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA, USA


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The patient with heart failure relies on varied physiological adaptations to exercise training. Although, the cardiovascular adaptations may be limited, the patient with heart failure relies on changes in the pulmonary system as well as peripheral muscular adaptations. Therefore, the intent of this review is to outline effective exercise program design and to discuss the effects of exercise training on the patient with heart failure, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, and peripheral musculature adaptations. As a result of exercise training, patients with heart failure can improve their exercise capacity and quality of life, despite no or reduced improvement in central hemodynamics. Respiratory muscle endurance improves with exercise training which contributes to patients' increased exercise capacity, decreased breathlessness, and decreased perception of breathlessness. In addition, peripheral muscle adaptations result in an enhanced ability for oxygen extraction and utilization, a delayed onset of anaerobic metabolism during physical activity, and less fatigue as a result of physical activity and activities of daily living. Many of the physiological sequela associated with reduce functional ability in heart failure patients are correctable with exercise training. The practical implications (and maybe the most important to the patient) of these positive adaptations include less frequent rest periods, lesser overall fatigue, greater confidence to embark on physical tasks, maintenance of independence, and enhanced quality of life.

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