Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a debilitating condition that causes severe symptoms, impaired functional capacity and poor quality of life. Exercise training has been shown to be a safe and effective therapy for improving physical function, dyspnea and quality of life in patients with IPF. However, due to pathophysiological limitations and symptom burden, conducting safe and effective exercise interventions is challenging; optimal program components and training modalities are yet to be established. Resistance training (RT) is a well-established exercise modality for combating effects of aging, disuse and chronic diseases, although there are scarce data available among patients with IPF. The current review briefly summarizes the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of IPF and describes the numerous health and clinical benefits of RT among older adults and patients with respiratory disease. It then explores the potential RT mechanisms for overcoming exercise limitations in IPF, which may provide a therapeutic opportunity for rehabilitation. Finally, the review suggests practical RT recommendations for pulmonary rehabilitation programs in patients with IPF.
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