Key Points

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  • There is growing evidence that BWSTT can improve indicators of cardiovascular fitness and health in individuals with complete and incomplete tetraplegia and paraplegia.
  • Interventions that involve FES training a minimum of 3 days per week for 2 months may improve muscular endurance, oxidative metabolism, exercise tolerance, and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Aerobic and FES exercise training may lead to clinically significant improvements in glucose homeostasis in persons with SCI. Preliminary evidence indicates that a minimum of 30 min of moderate intensity training on 3 days per week is required to achieve and/or maintain the benefits from exercise training.
  • Aerobic exercise in a variety of approaches including arm ergometry and FES exercise training may lead to improvements in lipid lipoprotein profile that are clinically relevant for the at risk SCI population.
  • The optimal training program for changes in lipid lipoprotein profile remains to be determined. However, a minimal aerobic exercise intensity of 70% of heart rate reserve on most days of the week appears to be a good general recommendation for improving lipid lipoprotein profile in persons with SCI.