Superior Heart Rate Reduction of Continuous Versus Interval Training in Heart Failure


Yalın Tolga Yaylalı1, Sibel Konukçu2, Gülin Fındıkoğlu2, Füsun Ardıç2
1Department of Cardiology, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey

AIM: Heart rate reduction plays a critical role for improvement of clinical outcomes in heart failure. Which training program yields maximal heart rate reduction is unknown. We compared training programs with interval training versus continuous training with regard to heart rate reduction in patients with heart failure.

METHODS: Patients with mild heart failure (EF: 45-55%) who were scheduled for cardiac rehabilitation, were enrolled into the study. The study included 5 women and 35 men. Patients were divided into three groups: group 1 patients had interval training, group 2 patients had continuous training, and group 3 patients did not have any training. Both interval and continuous training consisted of 3 sessions a week for 12 weeks. Each session started with 5 minutes warm-up period, continued with 30 minutes training (alternating 30 seconds exercise and 30 seconds rest in the interval group versus continuous exercise in the continuous group), and lasted with 5 minutes cooling period. Each patient had exercise tolerance test before and after the training program. Maximum heart rates attained during the test, heart rates at 1 and 2 minutes in the recovery period were recorded for all patients. The results were analysed by a Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

RESULTS: In interval group: maximum heart rate did not change significantly before and after the training (118.31 vs. 117.37); heart rates at 1 minute (109.81 vs. 105.93) and at 2 minutes (101.12 vs. 93.68) were similar before and after the training. In continuous group: maximum heart rate was significantly lower after the training (119.33 vs. 111.61, p:0.037), heart rates at 1 minute (102.91 vs. 97.69) and at 2 minutes (95.33 vs. 89.00) were similar before and after the training. No changes occured in controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Continuous training program can yield superior heart rate reduction in mild heart failure. Our findings may have important implications for exercise training in rehabilitation programs.

Keywords: Exercise training; interval training; continuous training; heart rate; cardiac rehabilitation; heart failure

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