High-intensity interval training is more effective than moderate-intensity continuous training at improving cardiorespiratory fitness in individuals undergoing cardiac rehabilitation

In January 2018 researchers from Australia published their review of the medical scientific literature to assess cardiorespiratory fitness changes following high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training in individuals undergoing cardiac rehabilitation. A total of 17 studies, involving 953 individuals (465 high-intensity interval training; 488 moderate-intensity continuous training) were included in the analysis. Results showed that high-intensity interval training was significantly better than moderate-intensity continuous training at improving overall cardiorespiratory fitness. It was noted that improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness were significant for cardiac rehabilitation programmes lasting for more than 6-weeks and that programmes of 7-12 weeks’ duration resulted in the largest improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness for patients with coronary heart disease. No deaths or cardiac events requiring hospitalization were reported in any study during either training.

Hannan AL et al. High-intensity interval training versus moderate-intensity continuous training within cardiac rehabilitation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Access J Sports Med. 2018 Jan 26;9:1-17 

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