Aerobic Exercise Program Gets a Thumbs Up for Asthma Control

OCTOBER 25, 2015
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
Some patients with asthma may find aerobic exercise to be especially challenging; however, that may be the very thing that they need in order to keep their condition under control.

There are currently an inadequate number of high quality studies evaluating the effects of aerobic exercise on asthma. Simon L. Bacon, PhD, and colleagues from the Montréal Chest Institute set out to find if a 12-week program was effective in controlling the condition. The preliminary results will be presented in a poster session at CHEST 2015 in Montréal, Canada.

The trial included 66 adult patients (with an average age of 49 and 71% female) who had been diagnosed with asthma. Each patients had poor asthma control – which was defined as a score of at least two on the one to seven Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) scale. Half of the patients were assigned 12 weeks of usual care and the other half participated in supervised aerobic exercise. Those in the exercise group did the program three days per week. It included a 10-minute warm-up, followed by 36 minutes on the treadmill, elliptical, or cycle, and ending with a 10-minute cool-down. All of the participants were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study period.

Patients who went through the exercise program had significantly better asthma control when compared to the usual care group. No adverse effects due to the exercise program were reported. Besides being safe, there were several other benefits observed in those who did the aerobic exercise.

“The aerobic exercise intervention clinically and statistically improved asthma control (0.5 decrease in ACQ), decreased SABA usage (nearly three times per week), attenuated waist circumference increases (10 cm), and reduced depressive symptoms (four point drop in BDI-II),” the authors concluded.

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