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Cardiac Rehabilitation and Resistance Training: Are They Compatible?.

VESCOVI, JASON; FERNHALL, B O
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2000
Original Article: PDF Only

Cardiac rehabilitation serves to improve the functional capacity for individuals who have suffered a cardiac event. Aerobic activities, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, have traditionally been employed to enhance the cardiovascular fitness levels of such patients. Resistance training has typically been avoided for fear of eliciting deleterious effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure responses. This in turn leads to an increased rate pressure product that may possibly cause an ischemic event within a cardiac population. Within the past 15-20 years, however, resistance training has gained support from researchers and clinicians as a safe mode of exercise that may heighten the rehabilitation process. Cardiac patients may benefit occupationally and recreationally from resistance training because of improvements in upper-and lower-body strength, as well as increased self-confidence to perform daily tasks that require moderate amounts of strength. It is the intent of this review to discuss safety and efficacy issues regarding resistance training, list improvements for physiological and psychological parameters observed following resistance training, provide guidelines for screening and patient selection, and provide a rationale for exercise prescription.

(C) 2000 National Strength and Conditioning Association