Background: Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) are characterized by debilitating muscle weakness, the inability to move, and resultant psychological disadvantages. The current study investigated the acute effects of resistance
exercise (RE) and their impact on psychological health and peak muscle contraction (PMC) in patients with CHF.
Methods: This randomized controlled trial was performed between October 2019 and December 2020. Fifty-seven patients with CHF (NYHA Class II, III) underwent initial assessments of the 6-minute walking test (6MWT),psychological response to exercise, and PMC. They were randomly divided into three groups, namely R1, R2, and the control group. The intervention consisted of a short aerobic exercise comprising 15 minutes of walking at an intensity of 50%-reserved heart rate for all three groups and an additional RE with the intensity of 50%-1RM and 75%-1RM for groups R1 and R2, respectively.
Results: No significant difference among the groups were observed in 6MWT,peak muscle contraction, and psychological response to exercise after the intervention (P≥0.05). PMC and psychological response to exercise improved significantly in all groups; however, only group R2 showed a significant increase in 6MWT after the intervention. Positive well-being (PWB) had a positive correlation with peak muscle contraction of the left knee extensors and dorsiflexors, and psychological dystress (PD) and FAT were negatively correlated to walking distance and PMC of the left knee extensors and dorsiflexors.
Conclusions: Performing just one session of exercise had significant beneficial impacts on PMC and psychological response in patients with CHF, regardless of exercise type or RE intensity. However, walking distance (6MWT) increased
significantly in the R2 group (75% of 1-RM), indicating that performing higher resistance exercise is safe and leads to functional advantages in CHF patients.There was a positive relationship between PWB and 1RM and a negative
relationship between both psychological distress (PD) and fatigue and 1RM.