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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves asthma control and quality of life

Published: June 8, 2022

Constant-load exercise improves aerobic fitness in individuals with moderate to severe asthma; however, patients and clinicians frequently ask what type of exercise people with asthma most benefit from.

Published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Ronaldo Silva, Ph.D., involved 55 individuals with moderate to severe asthma that were randomized to either constant-load exercise (CLE) or HIIT. Patients were properly medicated and had no exacerbation in the last 30 days. Each patient underwent evaluation for clinical asthma control, health-related quality of life, psychosocial morbidity, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, physical activity level, and airway and systemic inflammation. Training included 40-minute sessions on a cycle ergometer twice a week for 12 weeks. Sessions included 5 minutes of warmup, 30 minutes of exercise, and 5 minutes of cooldown.

The participants of CLE and HIIT showed a similar increase in aerobic fitness and clinical control. The participants of HIIT also showed a reduction in dyspnea and muscle fatigue during exercise, and improvements in the quality of life, psychosocial distress, and the daily level of physical activity when compared with CLE. These results suggest that HIIT is another option of exercise training for persons with asthma who safely tolerate high intensities of exercise and may benefit from this modality.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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