Training, detraining and retraining effects after a water-based exercise program in patients with coronary artery disease

Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece.
Cardiology (Impact Factor: 2.18). 04/2008; 111(4):257-64. DOI: 10.1159/000127737
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to investigate the adaptations of a water-based training program as well as the detraining and retraining effects on physiological parameters in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
Twenty-one patients were separated in an exercise group (n = 11) and a control group (n = 10). The exercise group followed three periods: training, detraining and retraining. Each period lasted 4 months. During the training and the retraining periods, the patients performed four sessions of water exercise (not swimming) per week.
The water-based program was well-accepted and no adverse effects were observed. The exercise group improved (p < 0.05) their stress-test time (+11.8%), VO(2 peak) (+8.4%) and total body strength (+12.2%) after the training period; detraining tended to reverse these positive adaptations. Resumption of training increased the beneficial effects obtained after the initial training period (exercise stress: +4.5%; VO(2 peak): +6.6%; total strength: +7.0%). The patients in the control group did not show any significant alterations throughout the study.
Water-based exercise is safe and induces positive physiological and muscular adaptations in low-risk patients with CAD. These could be reversed, however, after the cessation of exercise. This is why uninterrupted exercise throughout life is a must.

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    • "Aquatic activities could be included as a strategy to counteract physical decline. Recent studies have investigated the effects of water-based exercise, though mainly in specific clinical conditions, such as coronary artery disease,7,8 fibromyalgia,9,10 low-back pain11,12 and low bone mineral density.13 "
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    • "Exercise programs that combine resistance and aerobic exercise performed either on land or in water improved exercise tolerance, muscular strength and induce similar favorable adaptations on total cholesterol, triglycerides, and body composition in patients with coronary artery disease (Volaklis et al, 2007). However, cessation of the exercise program can reverse these adaptations (Tokmakidis et al., 2008). A 3 months water aerobic program results in favorable changes in glucose and lipid metabolism in obese subjects, even despite the lack of improvement in body mass (Nowak et al., 2008). "
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