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Combined HIIT and Resistance Training Improves Physical Health and Quality of Life in MS Patients

July 25, 2017

A French study with multiple sclerosis (MS) patients found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with resistance training improved physical capacity and quality of life, whether or not they were disabled. The HIIT exercise was a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intensive recovery periods. The study was published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. It is titled, “High-intensity interval training combined with resistance training improves physiological capacities, strength and quality of life in multiple sclerosis patients: a pilot study.” The study took place at the University of Strasbourg in France.

The study consisted of 25 MS patients. The researchers assessed physical capacity, strength, and quality of life before the training started, and then again after completing a 12-week exercise program. They divided the participants into two groups: one of 18 patients with no disabilities and a group of 8 with disabilities. Participants followed a personalized exercise program involving both HIIT and resistance training to improve muscular strength and endurance. The MS participants then had to fill out a questionnaire, a French version of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 test.
The results showed that women improved significantly in vitality, general well-being, and physical health, while men showed no significant improvements. Peak oxygen consumption improved by 13.5% and maximum tolerated power by 9.4%. As prior results, women showed better improvements than men.