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Locomotor Training: Intensity Matters

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In an effort to increase awareness and translation of research into practice, the ANPT has selected a high impact area of evidence to promote at the national level.  This year’s campaign, “Intensity Matters”, is focused on promoting walking training at high cardiovascular intensities to maximize locomotor outcomes for individuals with neurologic diagnoses.

Improving walking function is a common goal for individuals after neurologic injury.  Several key components that promote neuroplasticity include repetition, task specificity, and intensity.  While repetition and task specificity often play a predominant role in walking training, there has been less of a focus on defining intensity during these interventions.  Recent research supports walking training at high cardiovascular intensities to improve walking-related outcomes. High cardiovascular training levels have been defined in the literature as 70-85% of maximum heart rate or 60-80% of Heart Rate Reserve, a formula which factors resting heart rate. In instances where a heart rate response is blunted by medication or monitoring is not feasible, the Borg Perceived Exertion Scale can be used with the target of ≥ 14/20.

Mechanisms underlying these changes are thought to include improvements in cardiovascular capacity and efficiency, increased neural drive, and the release of higher levels of neurotrophic factors that promote neuroplasticity. …….

Intensity Matters! 

Click here for Clinician Resources & Tools and Key Articles

For more information contact the Task Force Chairs:
Lisa Goodwin lisa.goodwin@uvmhealth.org
Carey Holleran cholleran@wustl.edu

 

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