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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Oct;115(10):2081-9. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3186-9. Epub 2015 May 27.

The effects of high intensity interval training in women with rheumatic disease: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Technology Research Centre, KG Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), P.O. box 8905, 7491, Trondheim, Norway.
2
Department of Rheumatology, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.
3
Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
4
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Technology Research Centre, KG Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), P.O. box 8905, 7491, Trondheim, Norway. Anja.Bye@ntnu.no.
5
Norwegian Health Association, Oslo, Norway. Anja.Bye@ntnu.no.
6
St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway. Anja.Bye@ntnu.no.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) are inflammatory diseases which involve increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). High intensity interval training (HIIT) is known to be effective in improving cardiovascular health. The aim of this study was to investigate whether 10 weeks of HIIT at 85-95% of HRmax would improve important risk factors of CVD in rheumatic patients, and if these patients would tolerate exercise intensities above today's recommendations.

METHODS:

Seven women with RA and eleven with adult-JIA, 20-50 years, were recruited to this cross-over study. Participants performed HIIT, consisting of 4 × 4 min intervals at 85-95% of HRmax twice a week for 10 weeks on spinning bikes. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), heart rate recovery, blood pressure, body composition, and blood variables were measured before and after the exercise and control period. Disease activity was determined and questionnaire data were collected.

RESULTS:

HIIT resulted in 12.2% increase in VO2max and 2.9% improvement in heart rate recovery (p < 0.05). BMI, body fat, and waist circumference decreased 1.2, 1.0, and 1.6%, respectively, whereas muscle mass increased 0.6% (p < 0.05). A trend toward decreased CRP was detected after HIIT (p = 0.08). No changes were detected in disease activity or pain.

CONCLUSION:

Despite rigorous high intensity exercise, no increase was detected in disease activity or pain, indicating that HIIT was well tolerated by these patients. Furthermore, HIIT had positive effects on several CVD risk factors. In light of this pilot study, HIIT seems like a promising non-pharmacological treatment strategy for patients with RA and adult-JIA.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular diseases; Exercise; Rheumatology

PMID:
26013051
DOI:
10.1007/s00421-015-3186-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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