Journal of Physiology
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Exercise training is often a focus of clinical rehabilitation programmes aimed at improving patient health and function and decreasing mortality rate. Demonstrated benefits extend across a plethora of chronic conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Briefly, COPD is a progressive chronic inflammatory lung disease typically resulting from long‐term exposure to irritants (e.g. smoking) causing respiratory issues. Disease progression is often accompanied by peripheral muscle discomfort, weakness and dysfunction. Intolerable dyspnoea sensations are also common during exercise. Subsequently, exercise tolerance and health‐related quality of life are severely reduced in COPD patients leading to morbidity and ultimately mortality. As such, exercise training is an important tool in pulmonary rehabilitation, symptomatic control, attenuation of adverse health consequences and to improve patient function. However, optimal exercise programming strategies producing favourable acute responses and chronic adaptations in COPD, and across many exercise rehabilitation settings, are the subject of ongoing debate and exploration. Indeed, even within exercise modalities alterations in work intensity, rest and structure (e.g. continuous efforts versus high‐intensity intervals) are continually being trialled.
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