The purpose of this editorial/leader is to highlight the importance of encouraging patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to participate in a programme of resistance training (RT). COPD is a respiratory condition, which not only affects the pulmonary system but it also has systemic effects on the peripheral skeletal muscles. The systemic effects alter the structure and function of the skeletal muscles, which leads to muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass and poor health related quality of life (HRQoL). In the past, aerobic training has been recommended to counteract the deleterious effects of COPD. However, evidence suggests that RT, which exerts or resists an external force (weight machines and free weights) will improve muscular strength, lean leg mass and HRQoL in COPD patients.
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