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High Intensity Exercise Improves Muscle Condition in MS

October 5, 2015

A new study revealed that high intensity exercise is a safe and healthy choice for multiple sclerosis patients. Not only that, but it also offers a clinical benefit.

Due to the symptoms that come with a diagnosis of MS, patients tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately this promotes loss of muscle strength and exercise capacity which can damage the patient’s quality of life.

Studies have already shown that low-to-moderate intensity cardiovascular or resistance training exercise can improve muscle contractile properties and the endurance capacity in MS patients. However there was no clear effects of high intensity training.

The goal of the study was to assess the impact of high intensity exercise in MS patients. The team enrolled 34 MS patients in a clinical trial and divided them into a sedentary control group, and two exercise groups that performed a 12-week program of either high intensity interval or high intensity continuous cardiovascular training. The physical condition and body features of all participants were assessed prior to the beginning of training and after 12 weeks.

The study found that in comparison to the sedentary group, the 12-week exercise period led to an increase in mean muscle fiber and an improvement in muscle strength. Also, the group saw a decrease in body fat percentage. The researchers noticed that the group performing interval training, as opposed to the group continuously training, showed the best results.