Exercise training in heart failure: from theory to practice. A consensus document of the Heart Failure Association and the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation

Eur J Heart Fail. 2011 Apr;13(4):347-57. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfr017.


The European Society of Cardiology heart failure guidelines firmly recommend regular physical activity and structured exercise training (ET), but this recommendation is still poorly implemented in daily clinical practice outside specialized centres and in the real world of heart failure clinics. In reality, exercise intolerance can be successfully tackled by applying ET. We need to encourage the mindset that breathlessness may be evidence of signalling between the periphery and central haemodynamic performance and regular physical activity may ultimately bring about favourable changes in myocardial function, symptoms, functional capacity, and increased hospitalization-free life span and probably survival. In this position paper, we provide practical advice for the application of exercise in heart failure and how to overcome traditional barriers, based on the current scientific and clinical knowledge supporting the beneficial effect of this intervention.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Europe
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Societies, Medical