Nine mild to moderate asthmatic adults (three males, six females) and six non-asthmatics (one male, five females) underwent endurance running training three times per week for five weeks, at self selected running speeds on a motorized treadmill. After training, the asthmatic group had a significantly higher maximum oxygen uptake, significantly lower blood lactate and heart rate in submaximal running, and significantly reduced time to complete a two mile treadmill run, partly attributable to the ability to exercise at a higher % VO2 max after training. These training induced changes of the asthmatic group were generally of a greater magnitude than those shown by the non-asthmatic group. Although seven of the nine asthmatics did show a reduction in the post-exercise fall in FEV1 after the five week training period, this was not statistically significant for the asthmatic group as a whole. The results of this study therefore suggest that endurance running training can improve the aerobic fitness of asthmatic adults, and may reduce the severity of exercise-induced asthma.
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