By combining yoga, aerobic exercise, and breathing training, it is possible to significantly improve lung function in people with asthma. This contradicts the widely held belief that physical activity is a risk in asthma.
In a new study published in the English-language journal Annals of Medicine, researchers at Henan Normal University in China used a meta-analysis to examine the effects of different types of exercise on lung function in adult humans.
Various databases were evaluated
The team analyzed various randomized controlled trials that assessed the effects of exercise on lung function. The research papers evaluated came from electronic databases such as PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and CNKI.
Studies included 2,155 participants with asthma
A total of 28 studies were selected for analysis, which included 2,155 participants with asthma. The team examined how different measures affect lung function. These were breathing training, aerobic training, relaxation training, yoga and breathing training combined with aerobic training.
The results show how effective certain types of exercise training can improve lung function and physical capacity in adults.
How did exercise affect lung function?
According to the researchers, all five types of exercise interventions studied achieved greater effectiveness in improving lung function measurements compared to the conventional rehabilitation control group.
The experts further report that breathing training, aerobic training, relaxation training, yoga and also breathing training in combination with aerobic training led to improvements in the values of the forced tidal volume in the first second (FEV1) and the so-called peak expiratory flow (PEF).
In addition, aerobic training, breathing training, yoga and breathing training in combination with aerobic training improved the level of what is known as forced vital capacity (FVC). According to the researchers, breathing training, aerobic training and yoga also improved the FEV1/FVC ratio.
Advantages of individual training measures
It was found that relaxation training had the most significant effect on improving FEV1 values. In contrast, breathing exercise combined with aerobic exercise had the most significant effect on improving FVC scores, while yoga improved PEF scores most significantly, the researchers report.
Training should take into account individual factors
“These results should provide valuable insights for healthcare professionals prescribing exercise training for the management of adult asthmatics. However, it is important to consider individual factors such as family history, duration of illness and environmental influences when designing exercise rehabilitation programs,” study author Shuangtao Xing said in a press release.
The expert adds that in order to optimize treatment outcomes for asthma, it is necessary to adapt measures in terms of training intensity, frequency and duration of training to the individual physical and mental health of those affected. “Breathing training combined with aerobic exercise and yoga appear to be particularly beneficial and offer potential for effective treatment approaches,” Xing summarizes the results. (as)