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Friday, 16 November 2012 09:47

Pilates can improve functional capacity in heart failure patient

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pilates 1Pilates exercises may be a beneficial adjunctive treatment for patients with heart failure, offering functional capacity improvements, according to a study published in the December issue of Cardiovascular Therapeutics.

Pilates is a form of physical fitness exercise program developed by Joseph Pilates in 1920’s in Germany. Joseph called this method as ‘contrology’, as he thought that it uses mind to control body muscles.

Basic theme of Pilates program is the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility and body awareness to improve posture and balance.

Originally, Pilates was used for rehabilitation program for soldiers of war and dancers to strengthen the body. Later, it was found to be useful for improving fitness of almost all kinds of people.

To examine the efficacy of Pilates in patients with heart failure, Guilherme Veiga Guimarães, M.D., of the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues conducted a study involving 16 patients with New York Heart Association class I or II heart failure who were randomly assigned to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise followed by 20 minutes of either mat Pilates training or a conventional cardiac rehabilitation program for 16 weeks.

At 16 weeks, the researchers found that patients in both groups showed a significant increase in exercise time, with a larger increase for the Pilates group (11.9 ± 2.5 to 17.8 ± 4 minutes and 11.7 ± 3.9 to 14.2 ± 4 minutes, respectively).

Only the Pilates training exhibited significant increases from baseline in ventilation, peak oxygen consumption (VO2), and O2 pulse.

Compared with the conventional group, peak VO2 was significantly improved in the Pilates group.

 "The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of a combined aerobic training and mat Pilates method by its safe and functional capacity improvements in patients with heart failure," the authors write.

More information: Abstract Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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