Background: Children’s physical activity patterns are characterized by short-term anaerobic activities. Anaerobic exercise performance in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) has received little attention compared to aerobic performance. This study investigated the effects of anaerobic training in children with CF.
Design and methods: Twenty patients were randomly assigned to the training group (TG) [11 patients; mean (± SD) age, 13.6 ± 1.3 years; mean FEV1, 75.2 ± 20.7% predicted] or the control group (CG) [9 patients; mean age, 14.2 ± 2.1 years; FEV1, 82.1 ± 19.1% predicted]. The TG trained 2 days per week for 12 weeks, with each session lasting 30 to 45 min. The training program consisted of anaerobic activities lasting 20 to 30 s. The control subjects were asked not to change their normal daily activities. Body composition, pulmonary function, peripheral muscle force, habitual physical activity, aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance, and quality of life were reevaluated at the end of the training program, and again after a 12-week follow-up period.
Results: Patients in the TG significantly improved their anaerobic performance, aerobic performance, and quality of life. No significant changes were seen in other parameters, and no improvements were found in CG. After the follow-up period, only anaerobic performance and quality of life in TG were significantly higher compared to pretraining values.
Conclusions: Anaerobic training has measurable effects on aerobic performance (although not sustained), anaerobic performance, and health-related quality of life in children with CF. Therefore, anaerobic training could be an important component of therapeutic programs for CF patients.