It has been shown that a rehabilitation program that includes exercise training reduces mortality in subjects with coronary heart disease. To have a high cardiorespiratory fitness, that is a high maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), is strongly predicting survival in these subjects – as well as in the rest of us.1 Therefore, it is smart to find out how to increase the VO2max effectively by exercise training.
In CERG, we have done several studies showing that high intensity interval training (HIT) give larger improvements in VO2max compared to moderate continuous exercise.2,3 Our training studies typically last for three or four months, with a lot of supervision and good patient compliance. But is HIT something people can do on a regular basis during the rest of their life?
Vegard Malmo presented the poster “Aerobic interval training reduces the burden of atrial fibrillation”. The study shows that aerobic interval training for 12 weeks clearly reduces the burden of AF in symptomatic patients. It is followed by a significant improvement in VO2max, left atrial and ventricular function, cholesterol levels, and quality of life. Further studies are needed to evaluate the underlying mechanisms and the effect of exercise training for a longer period of time. The study was presented at the ESC Congress in Barcelona who was arranged August 30th to September 3d.