Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What is Better: Endurance Training or Resistance Training?

Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy. Not only do we, as people living with MS, need to maximize cardiovascular health, we also need to maintain muscle strength and flexibility. However, multiple sclerosis is often associated with reduced physical fitness and lower quality of life.

Before I began riding the exercise bike regularly last fall, I would get winded much more easily. My heart and lungs were not functioning at their full capacity and I realized that I needed to do something about it. Although I really started riding the bike to improve my osteoarthritic knees, doing so helped me to get my heart pumping and to work up a sweat.

Over these past several months, I’ve noticed that both my strength and endurance have improved. I definitely feel better, physically and mentally.

Endurance training vs resistance training
Both options are good! People with MS are able to improve their physical fitness, including aerobic capacity and muscle strength, with either a combination of endurance and resistance training or endurance training alone, according to a recent study. Both forms of exercise used in the study reduced fatigue and improved quality of life for MS patients, especially in the areas of general health, mental health, vitality, and social functioning.

Trial participants (n=60; 44 female, 16 male) were randomized into one of two groups: the combined workout group (CWG) or the endurance workout group (EWG). MS patients completed a physician-supervised training program that lasted three months and consisted of two moderate-intensity training sessions per week, each of which was 40 minutes long. The CWG group exercised 20 minutes on a bicycle ergometer, followed by 20 minutes of resistance training. The EWG group focused on endurance exercise for the full 40 minutes. Twenty-three patients dropped out of the trial due to lack of time, long distance to training location, new workplace, or exacerbation.

Read this post in its entirety:
Which Type of Exercise is Better for People with MS?

(photo credit: pippalou)

1 comment:

  1. Since my RA/fibromyalgia, my exercise level has gone down. But I still make myself go to the gym three times each week for both cardio and resistance training. It makes a huge difference in how I feel.