Exercise Prescriptions for Training and Rehabilitation in Patients with Heart and Lung Disease

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017 Jul;14(Supplement_1):S59-S66. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201702-160FR.


Rehabilitation in patients with advanced cardiac and pulmonary disease has been shown to increase survival and improve quality of life, among many other benefits. Exercise training is the fundamental ingredient in these rehabilitation programs. However, determining the amount of exercise is not straightforward or uniform. Most rehabilitation and training programs fix the time of exercise and set the exercise intensity to the goals of the rehabilitation program and the exercise-related hurdles of the individual. The exercise training intensity prescription must balance the desired gain in conditioning with safety. Symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise testing is the fundamental tool to identify the exercise intensity and define the appropriate training. In addition, cardiopulmonary exercise testing provides an understanding of the systems involved in oxygen transport and utilization, making it possible to identify the factors limiting exercise capacity in individual patients.

Keywords: cardiac rehabilitation; cardiopulmonary exercise testing; exercise training; intensity exercise prescription; pulmonary rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Exercise*
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Heart Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Prescriptions*
  • Quality of Life