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Active Voice: Understanding Physical Activity for Asthmatic Patients

from By Celso R.F. Carvalho, Ph.D., P.T., P.E.

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Celso R.F. Carvalho, Ph.D., P.T., P.E., is Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, School of Medicine, at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. His research focus includes the benefits of aerobic exercise training in patients with persistent asthma. In the Feb. 2011 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE), Dr. Carvalho coauthored related research entitled “Effects of Aerobic Training on Airway Inflammation in Asthmatic Patients.”

Ten years ago, an asthmatic patient’s mother asked me if her daughter could participate in sports and what benefits her daughter would obtain by exercising. The mother was afraid because some physicians recommended exercise for her daughter while others strongly suggested she avoid it. At the time, I did not know the answer, so I searched the literature, finding a systematic review showing that the only recognized benefits of exercise for asthmatic patients were increases in aerobic exercise capacity and reductions in the perception of dyspnea. However, the same review suggested there were more questions than answers. After that, I decided to begin a research program to determine the benefits of exercise for asthmatic patients. more

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