HIIT as a Safe and Effective Exercise Modality for Improving Pulmonary Function and Exercise Tolerance in Individuals with Asthma


  • Zakaria A Alyousif University of Toledo
  • Craig P Black
  • Suzanne Wambold
  • Sadik A. Khuder
  • Mohamad Nawras
  • Taha Alyousef
  • Barry W Scheuermann


Background – Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting millions
globally, with symptoms including wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness
of breath. Regular physical activity can mitigate these symptoms; however,
the effectiveness and safety of HIIT for asthmatics remain underexplored.
This study addresses this gap by examining HIIT's impact on asthmatic
individuals, focusing on pulmonary function, FeNO levels (an inflammation
marker), and exercise tolerance.
Materials and Methods
Fourteen adult males, divided into asthmatic (n=7) and healthy control (n=7)
groups, underwent a two-week HIIT protocol. Pulmonary function was
assessed using peak expiratory flow (PEF), forced vital capacity (FVC), and
forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1/FVC ratio). FeNO was
measured with a portable device, and exercise tolerance was evaluated
through a progressive exercise test on a cycle ergometer to determine peak
oxygen uptake (VO2peak), carbon dioxide output (VCO2peak), ventilation
(VE), and time to exhaustion (TTE). Statistical analysis was performed using
ANOVA with repeated measures.
The results indicated significant differences between groups in FeNO, VO2
peak, TTE, and peak work rate (WR), with no significant changes in
pulmonary function measures. Asthmatics showed a marked improvement in
TTE and peak WR post-HIIT, with mean FeNO levels and pulmonary
function measures remaining unchanged from baseline. Specifically, postHIIT, asthmatics achieved higher VE, VCO2, TTE, and peak WR,
demonstrating improved exercise tolerance and ventilation without
exacerbating lung inflammation.
HIIT was well-tolerated by individuals with asthma, leading to significant
improvements in exercise tolerance and ventilation without negatively
impacting pulmonary function or increasing lung inflammation. These
findings suggest HIIT as a safe and effective exercise modality for asthmatics,
potentially aiding in better asthma management through enhanced physical
fitness and exercise capacity.




How to Cite

Alyousif, Z. A., Black, C. P., Wambold, S., Khuder, S. A., Nawras, M., Alyousef, T., & Scheuermann, B. W. (2024). HIIT as a Safe and Effective Exercise Modality for Improving Pulmonary Function and Exercise Tolerance in Individuals with Asthma. Journal of Advanced Sciences, 3(1). Retrieved from https://www.joasciences.com/index.php/joas/article/view/44