n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The effect of breathing and aerobic training on manual volitional respiratory muscle strength and function in moderate, persistent asthmatics

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Respiratory muscle weakness is a common feature of a multitude of cardiopulmonary diseases and has led to an increasing awareness that respiratory muscle weakness can be a compounding factor in many diseases associated with higher morbidity and mortality. The aim of the study was to ascertain the effect of breathing and aerobic training on manual volitional respiratory muscle strength and function in moderate, persistent asthmatics. Eighty-eight previously sedentary, moderate, persistent asthmatics were divided into either a non-exercising control (NON), endurance trained (ET), inspiratory and expiratory trained (IEB) or endurance trained combined with inspiratory and expiratory trained (COM) group. The exercise groups trained three times weekly over an eight-week period. The ET programme (n = 22) consisted of walking/jogging at 60% of individual age-predicted maximum heart rate, the IEB programme (n = 22) of inspiratory and expiratory training in a semi-recumbent position at varying inspiration, expiration ratios while the COM programme (n = 22) employed a combination of the ET and IEB programmes. The NON (n = 22) received no prescribed exercise and were instructed to continue their usual activities. ET, IEB and COM resulted in significant (p ≤ 0.05) strength improvements in eleven of the thirteen measured inspiratory muscles. ET and COM resulted in significant strength improvements in all seven of the measured expiratory muscles, while IEB improved the strength of five of the seven measured expiratory muscles, excluding left lattisimus dorsi and left quadratus lumborum. There were no significant changes in any of the measured variables in the NON group. Increases in respiratory muscle strength as a result of exercise training are essential to the patient to ensure ventilation by adapting to the increasing workloads associated with the disease. In addition, having multiple or alternative tests of respiratory muscle function available both increases diagnostic precision and makes assessment and follow-up possible in a range of clinical circumstances.

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