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Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2012 Mar;9(1):57-64. doi: 10.1007/s11897-011-0078-0.

Resistance versus aerobic exercise training in chronic heart failure.

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School of Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


It is now accepted that exercise training is a safe and effective therapeutic intervention to improve clinical status, functional capacity, and quality of life in people with chronic heart failure (CHF). Nevertheless, this therapeutic modality remains underprescribed and underutilized. Both aerobic and resistance training improve exercise capacity and may partially reverse some of the cardiac, vascular, and skeletal muscle abnormalities in individuals with CHF. Aerobic training has more beneficial effects on aerobic power (peak oxygen consumption) and cardiac structure and function than resistance exercise training, while the latter is more effective for increasing muscle strength and endurance and promoting favorable arterial remodeling. Combined aerobic and resistance training is the preferred exercise intervention to reverse or attenuate the loss of muscle mass and improve exercise and functional capacity, muscle strength, and quality of life in individuals with CHF. The challenge now is to translate these research findings into clinical practice.

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