Structured exercise programs initiated after acute hospitalization can improve muscle strength and mass, cardiorespiratory capacity, and quality of life in severely burned children. In this retrospective study, we compared the cardiovascular effects of an exercise program incorporating a large number of interval training sessions with a traditional exercise program incorporating a small number of interval training sessions. Severely burned children who completed a large number of sessions (at least three sessions per week, N = 40) were matched to those completing a small number of sessions (a maximum of two sessions per week, N = 40). Maximal oxygen consumption (VO 2 max) was measured via the modified Bruce treadmill protocol at discharge, on completion of the exercise program, and at follow-up visits at 6, 12, and 24 months postburn. Both groups were comparable in age (large 13.5 ± 3.0 years vs small 13.1 ± 3.3 years) and percent total BSA burned (large 50.8 ± 14.8% vs small 49.2 ± 13.3%). For both groups, VO 2 max increased from discharge (large 22.6 ± 3.8 ml/kg/min; small 22.6 ± 5.0 ml/kg/min) to postexercise (large 29.5 ± 6.0 ml/kg/min; small 28.0 ± 5.8 ml/kg/min), 6 months (large 33.2 ± 5.9 ml/kg/min; small 29.6 ± 7.0 ml/kg/min), 12 months (large 35.0 ± 7.5 ml/kg/min; small 31.7 ± 7.1 ml/kg/min), and 24 months (large 37.0 ± 7.2 ml/kg/min; small 32.4 ± 9.2 ml/kg/min, P <.001). VO 2 increased to a greater extent with a large number of interval sessions than with a small number at 6 and 24 months (both P =.021). These findings suggest that a large number of interval training sessions impart a greater benefit on cardiorespiratory fitness than a small number of sessions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine