Patients with a neuromuscular disease (NMD, muscle disease or neuromuscular disorder) often have difficulty to stay sufficiently active due to muscle weakness, fatigue and pain. Therefore, an important goal of rehabilitation programs in NMD is to promote physical fitness by means of aerobic exercise. The B-FIT training guide supports health care professionals to prescribe personalized aerobic exercise. The authors of the training guide are affiliated with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Amsterdam UMC.
There is increasing evidence for the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise in a wide variety of slowly progressive NMD. Two important knowledge gaps identified by recent systematic reviews are the lack of standardized outcomes, and uncertainty about how exercise should be prescribed, in terms of frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise. This uncertainty potentially hampers the application of this promising intervention in daily practice.
Therefore, we developed a training guide, called B-FIT, to support health care professionals to prescribe personalized aerobic exercise, based on submaximal exercise testing results. The B-FIT training guide was developed by a working group of experts, including researchers, rehabilitation physicians, physical therapists and people with NMD. This website contains the B-FIT training guide, an instruction video, registration forms, and more information on ongoing and completed research projects related to B-FIT.
Manual for therapists and patient workbook
The training guide consists of a general introduction, a manual for therapists and a patient workbook. The full version of the B-FIT training guide can be downloaded here. The manual for therapists (short version) and the patient workbook can also be downloaded separately.
The manual for therapists contains background on training principles for the general population and NMD. It provides practical support to practitioners for making a needs assessment and for prescribing, monitoring and evaluating aerobic exercise for NMD patients. Work protocols have been included for the various steps in the care pathway with corresponding registration forms. There are also templates available for easy calculation of individual training zones and preparing training schedules, and for creating an overview of training results.
The patient workbook contains practical instructions for the patient, the exercise program and the log with which the program can be monitored and adjusted if necessary.
The instruction video below explains all the required actions by the physical therapist based on the 5 visits as described in the manual for therapists.
Visit overview with registration forms
The 5 visits with corresponding registration forms have been outlined below. All forms and templates can also be accessed via B-FIT downloads.
|Visit (purpose)||Activities||Registration form|
|1. Medical history||Activity list||Appendix 1|
|2. Additional testing||Submaximal exercise test Determine anaerobic threshold Prepare training schedule||Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Calculation tool|
|3. Start exercise program||Start exercise program|
|4. Interim evaluation||Submaximal exercise test Determine anaerobic threshold Prepare training schedule||Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Calculation tool|
|5. Final evaluation||Submaximal exercise test Evaluation form training Overview training results||Appendix 2 Appendix 5 Training results|
B-FIT research projects
This page contains more information on ongoing and completed research projects related to B-FIT.