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British pilot study of exercise therapy. II. Patients with cardiovascular disease.
  1. P. G. Nixon,
  2. M. E. Carruthers,
  3. D. J. Taylor,
  4. H. J. Bethell,
  5. W. Grabau

    Abstract

    Two groups of middle-aged men, one with and one without overt cardiovascular disease, were studied while they were taking part in a specially designed course of exercise therapy in a gymnasium. The "patients" group had at least two months pre-treatment to allow physical recovery and mental re-education before their initial very small test dose of exercise. Using short periods of progressive, mainly weight-loaded, isotonic exercises carefully regulated by control of pulse rate and avoidance of symptoms of over-exertion, both groups showed large increases in effort capacity and reductions in resting pulse rate, blood pressure and plasma lipid levels within two months. The safety of this particular form of exercise was shown in this high-risk population by the low drop-out rate and the absence of cardiovascular accidents in the gymnasium over a ten year period. It is suggested that, given suitable training of the staff and using the safeguards described, the presence of doctors and a cardiac resuscitation team is unnecessary in a gymnasium specializing in cardiac rehabilitation. This makes it possible for rehabilitation and physiotherapy departments throughout the country to carry out this effective and positive form of exercise therapy.

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