Physiological Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training for Individuals with Parkinson's Disease
This thesis investigated the effects of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and continuous moderate intensity training (CMIT) on maximal exercise capacity (VO2max), resting and exercising hemodynamics, and clinical symptoms in eighteen men and women with Parkinson’s Disease. Participants were randomized to HIIT (n=9), or CMIT (n=9) groups and completed two pre-training visits. Participants completed clinical questionnaires and performed a progressive exercise test to determine VO2max. Measurements of arterial stiffness and wave reflection characteristics were recorded. Continuous hemodynamic measurements were recorded during a 2-minute isometric handgrip contraction followed by 3-minutes of post-exercise circulatory occlusion. Participants then completed 10 weeks (3x/week; 1 hour/session) of HIIT or CMIT at the Guelph YMCA followed by the same two days of post-testing. HIIT provided clinically relevant improvements in VO2max, UPDRS part III, and BDI-II scores which were greater compared to CMIT. Both exercise protocols provided no improvements in fatigue and resting or exercising hemodynamics.