Exercise Prescription For Special Populations


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Table of Contents

Exercise Prescription For Special Populations

Important Ideas To Remember

Special Populations

Patients Who Are HIV +

Patients With Diabetes

All diabetics have special needs :

Type I Diabetes Mellitus

With loss of native insulin production, they are constrained to exogenously supplement themselves with insulin and to chronically exercise.

How does exercise help blood glucose clearance ?

Acute and chronic exercise improves glycemic control and stimulates improved GLUT-4 performance and #’s of transporters.

Type I Diabetes

Some Ideas :

Type II Diabetes

Some Ideas :

General Considerations

Practice scrupulous foot inspections

Learn to monitor your blood glucose and determine if there is a duration and intensity that regularly decreases your blood glucose in a dependable fashion.

Learn to decrease insulin requirements once exercise is a routine part of your daily schedule

Know the signs of hypoglycemia :

Tingling In The Extremities


Patients With Hypertension

It will be important to find out the cause for the patient’s hypertension if it does not fall into the category of essential hypertension

Categories Of Hypertension

Any patient with moderate to severe hypertension should be evaluated for other coronary artery risk factors

Ideally, any male over the age of 40 years or a female over the age of 50 years must have a GXT before an exercise prescription is written.

Know The Rules

ACSM Guidelines Say …….

If the exercising blood pressure is /115, you should stop the exercise bout or at the very minimum reduce the intensity of the exercise bout.


Things To Think About …….

Avoid exhaustive exercise

Restrict alcohol consumption

Expectant Mothers

The ACSM Guidelines State….

multiple fetuses

There are relative contraindications to exercise. They are :


history of bleeding during pregnancy

A Suggested Starting Ex. Program

Some things to Think About ….

Exercise with a partner in case Mother needs help

Patients Who Are HIV +

Things To Remember…..

A Suggested Starting Ex. Program

Patients With Intermittent Claudication

Intermittent claudication occurs because of obstruction of blood flow through the arteries of exercising leg muscles. It is the obstruction of blood flow by fatty plagues (arteriosclerosis) that leads to the intense pain during exercise.

When the patient walks for several minutes, the amount of blood that the muscle needs does not perfuse through the obstructed arteries. The patient then feels moderately intense to severe pain.

It has been shown that after a six week exercise program, the patient can walk three times more distance without leg pain than before the exercise training was begun.

A Suggested Starting Ex. Program

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These patients may have to exercise several times a day for small durations of time in order to build up to a sustained intensity of steady state exercise.

Patients In End-Stage Renal Failure

Patients in renal failure typically are frail individuals and may have extensive muscle wasting, HTN, hyperlipidemia, muscle cramping, bone disease, fatigue & psychosocial problems.

Exercise is therapeutic for these patients because it blunts the wasting effects of sedentary living.

A Suggested Starting Ex. Program


They should be encouraged to walk and perform weight bearing exercise on their off-dialysis days to blunt the osteoporosis that many of them sustain because of sedentary lifestyles.

Patients With Osteoporosis

Type I Osteoporosis

Type I osteoporosis is associated with :

Type II Osteoporosis

Other factors effecting osteoporosis :

By the age of 80 years, 1 out of 3 women will fracture their hips while only 1 out of 6 men will experience a fractured hip.

Some Solutions……...

Fosamax - encourages osteoblasis

Testosterone - increases bone mass in men and women

Bisphosphonates - etidronate, residronate, alendronate all inhibit bone resorption

A Suggested Starting Ex. Program

Exercise should be weight bearing

Water aerobics, swimming, kick boards and wogging are all good for conditioning even though they are not weight bearing

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Simultaneous involvement of bilateral joints

Rheumatoid nodules over bony prominences or next to joints

Functional Capacity Criteria American Rheumatology Association

Class 3 : ability limited to little or none of the duties of usual occupation or to self-care

Clinical Effects Of The Disease

Class 1 patients can do any type of exercise but should probably should not perform hard physical exercise.

Class 4 patients by definition are too incapacitated for weight bearing exercise but may participate in non-weight bearing exercise modes - i.e. - water exercises where their weight is supported

Exercise Prescription

Mode Choices Influenced By....

Good Mode Choices…..




Monitoring the patient during exercise ……


Sports & Exercise for Children with Chronic Health Conditions, Human Kinetics Publishers, 1995 by Barry Goldberg.

Author: Microsoft Corporation

Email: David.Arnall@NAU.EDU , DAArnall@AOL.COM

Home Page: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~daa/heartlung/

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