Cardiac rehabilitation and exercise programs following major cardiovascular events are associated with significant improvements in functional capacity and cardiorespiratory fitness, as well as mental health. However, some people do not enjoy monotonous forms of exercise such as walking and stationary cycling, and therefore may stop exercising after completing their cardiovascular rehabilitation program.
Researchers are exploring more diverse exercise options that could interest more people to see if they could get more people to continue training and what benefits it could bring.
Growing evidence suggests that unconventional exercise measures, such as high-intensity interval training and Nordic walking, are more effective than traditional exercise methods in improving performance as measured by a six-minute walk test — an important predictor of cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease. arterial disease. Nordic walking is an enhanced form of walking exercise that uses specially designed rods for both upper and lower body muscles.
“Patients with coronary artery disease often have impaired functioning, poor quality of life, and an increased risk and mortality from subsequent cardiovascular events,” the lead researcher explained. Jennifer L. Reed, PhD, Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health, Department of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, Institute of Cardiology, University of Ottawa; Medical Faculty; and School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada.
The researchers compared the prolonged effects of 12 weeks of rehabilitation on 1) high-intensity interval training; 2) medium-intensive continuous training; and 3) Nordic walking, on the functioning, quality of life, and symptoms of depression in patients with coronary artery disease. One hundred and thirty patients were randomized to 12 weeks of training in one of these three groups, followed by a 14-week observation phase.
Although all exercise programs improved depressive symptoms and quality of life, performance improved most after Nordic walking (+ 19 percent) compared with high-intensity interval training (+ 13 percent) and moderate-intensity continuous training. education (+12%).
“This is a key finding because lower functional capacity predicts a higher risk of cardiovascular events in people with coronary artery disease,” Dr. Reed noted. “Nordic walking binds the muscles of the core, upper and lower body while reducing the load on the knee, which may have improved performance.”
“No previous study has directly compared the long-term effects of high-intensity interval training, moderately intense continuous training, and Nordic walking,” he commented. Tasuku TeradaPhD, Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health, Department of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
“This study is new in the sense that it simultaneously compared the lasting effects of different exercise programs (i.e., 14 weeks after the end of cardiovascular rehabilitation) that can be easily incorporated into daily exercise. according to their interests and needs, “he decided.
In the attached editorial Carl J. LavieMD, Cardiovascular Diseases Department, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School, University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA, and colleagues noted that adding Nordic walking to a cardiovascular rehabilitation program could provide an ideal progression from regular to moderately intense continuous training or traditional walking, especially for patients with disabilities who may not tolerate high-intensity training, or for patients for whom high-intensity interval training may be contraindicated.
“Adding sticks to moderate-intensity walking is a simple and easy-to-use option to improve walking capacity, increase energy expenditure, activate upper body muscles, and improve other functional parameters such as posture, walking, and balance.” commented Dr. Lavie.
“Providing a variety of exercise options increases patient enjoyment and progress, which is important for engagement and maintenance. Exercises should be determined based on the patient’s goals, preferences, and abilities,” he advised.
Source: The Nordic Page