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Endurance Exercise

Endurance exercises are activities that increase your breathing and heart rate for an extended period of time.

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(Source: NIH - National Institute on Aging and National Library of Medicine)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

The effects of arm endurance and strength training on arm exercise capacity in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Bibliographic details: Ennis S, Alison J, McKeough Z.  The effects of arm endurance and strength training on arm exercise capacity in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Physical Therapy Reviews 2009; 14(4): 226-239

Inhaled corticosteroids compared to placebo for prevention of exercise induced bronchoconstriction

Exercise‐induced asthma (bronchoconstriction) can limit a person's exercise endurance and lead to people avoiding exercise. This systematic review found that inhaled corticosteroids taken regularly can reduce exercise induced asthma in both children and adults.

Strength training or comprehensive aerobic exercise training for muscle disease

Strength training, which is performed to improve muscle strength and muscle endurance, or aerobic exercise programmes, which are designed to improve cardiorespiratory endurance, might optimise physical fitness and prevent additional muscle wasting in people with muscle disease. However, people with muscle disease and some clinicians are still afraid of overuse and have a cautious approach to training. This updated review (most recent date of search 2 July 2012) included two eligible trials of strength training in people with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and myotonic dystrophy (101 participants), two trials of strength training combined with aerobic exercise in people with mitochondrial myopathy (18 participants) and myotonic dystrophy type I (35 participants) and one trial of aerobic exercise in people with polymyositis and dermatomyositis (14 participants). These trials showed that moderate‐intensity strength training in people with myotonic dystrophy or with FSHD, and aerobic exercise training in people with dermatomyositis or polymyositis appear not to harm muscles. Strength training combined with aerobic exercise appears to be safe in myotonic dystrophy type I and may be effective in increasing endurance in people with mitochondrial myopathy. Evidence suggests that strength training is not harmful in people in FSHD, myotonic dystrophy, mitochondrial disorders and dermatomyositis and polymyositis, but further research is needed to determine potential benefit.

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Summaries for consumers

Inhaled corticosteroids compared to placebo for prevention of exercise induced bronchoconstriction

Exercise‐induced asthma (bronchoconstriction) can limit a person's exercise endurance and lead to people avoiding exercise. This systematic review found that inhaled corticosteroids taken regularly can reduce exercise induced asthma in both children and adults.

Strength training or comprehensive aerobic exercise training for muscle disease

Strength training, which is performed to improve muscle strength and muscle endurance, or aerobic exercise programmes, which are designed to improve cardiorespiratory endurance, might optimise physical fitness and prevent additional muscle wasting in people with muscle disease. However, people with muscle disease and some clinicians are still afraid of overuse and have a cautious approach to training. This updated review (most recent date of search 2 July 2012) included two eligible trials of strength training in people with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and myotonic dystrophy (101 participants), two trials of strength training combined with aerobic exercise in people with mitochondrial myopathy (18 participants) and myotonic dystrophy type I (35 participants) and one trial of aerobic exercise in people with polymyositis and dermatomyositis (14 participants). These trials showed that moderate‐intensity strength training in people with myotonic dystrophy or with FSHD, and aerobic exercise training in people with dermatomyositis or polymyositis appear not to harm muscles. Strength training combined with aerobic exercise appears to be safe in myotonic dystrophy type I and may be effective in increasing endurance in people with mitochondrial myopathy. Evidence suggests that strength training is not harmful in people in FSHD, myotonic dystrophy, mitochondrial disorders and dermatomyositis and polymyositis, but further research is needed to determine potential benefit.

Exercise for fibromyalgia

‐ moderate intensity aerobic training for 12 weeks may improve overall well‐being and physical function; moderate intensity aerobic exercise probably leads to little or no difference in pain or tender points.

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