Traditionally the exercise program for cardiac rehabilitation has been the bicycle ergometer but a group in Spain has tested a modified form of tennis training to see if it is a possible alternative. The tests carried out included lab test parameters, quality of life and an exercise stress test. After the 3 month program triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol all improved as well as a significant improvement in exercise capacity. The group concludes that modification of existing sports is new area that can be developed for cardiac rehabilitation. The main advantages are clearly that patients are more likely to stick to exercise programs of a sport that they choose and enjoy compared to a set program.
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Garcia JP et al. Tennis training sessions as a rehabilitation instrument for patients after acute myocardial infarction. J Sports Sci Med Jun 2013.