n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Effectiveness of aerobic exercise training in improving pulmonary function in asthmatics : exercise physiology

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Asthma exemplifies a major medical concern and is a considerable cause of morbidity and mortality in Western society. Controversy still exists regarding the most effective mode and intensity of exercise training for asthmatics. Thus, the purpose of the study was to determine whether walking or jogging at 60% of age-predicted heart rate maximum can increase effort-dependent pulmonary function parameters in moderate, persistent asthmatics. Forty-four sedentary asthmatics were randomly assigned to either a non-exercising control (NE) group (n = 22) or an eight-week moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (AE) group (n = 22). Results indicated that the subjects in the AE training group significantly (p = 0.05) increased their forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV), peak expiratory flow (PEF), maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV) and inspiratory vital capacity (IVC). The NE group did not exhibit any significant changes in any of the measured variables. Therefore, walking or jogging at 60% heart rate maximum for 30 minutes three times a week for eight weeks can effectively improve the effort-dependent pulmonary parameters in moderate, persistent asthmatics. This represents a strong argument to support the inclusion of this mode of aerobic training in the treatment of moderate, persistent asthma due to its effectiveness, inexpensiveness and lowrisk.

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