The Influence of High Intensity Exercise on Post-Exercise Hypotension
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background. Elevated blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Post-exercise hypotension is the phenomenon by which there is a prolonged reduction in blood pressure in the minutes and hours after exercise. High intensity training is a relatively new form of training and very little research has studied the effects it has on the blood pressure response. This study observed the acute blood pressure response following a bout of continuous low intensity exercise and a bout of high intensity interval training. Method. Ten normotensive, healthy men and women (mean age 20.2 ± 1.0) completed a continuous bout of low intensity exercise at 50% of VO2max for 30 minutes and a bout of high intensity interval exercise, with 60 seconds at 100% of VO2max interspersed with 75 seconds at 50% of VO2max. This procedure replicated the one used by Little, Safdar, Wilkin, Tarnopolsky and Gibala, (2010). Blood pressure was then measured for one hour post exercise. Changes in plasma volume were predicted. Results. During exercise, the heart rate (P=0.000) and lactate response (P=0.000) were significantly higher during the high intensity bout. During recovery, a significant (P=0.04) decrease of 7.2 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure was observed following the high intensity bout, compared to the continuous low intensity bout, which had a drop of 1.5 mm Hg. Diastolic blood pressure showed no significance between the intensities (P=0.413). There was no significant difference in percentage plasma volume change between the two intensities (P=0.468). Conclusions. The results of this study show that high intensity exercise lowered blood pressure more than continuous low intensity exercise. These results suggest that high intensity training could play an important role in the control and prevention of hypertension, as a non-pharmacological treatment.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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